Wil Anderson
Wil Anderson

Wil Anderson returns to basics

TO PERFORM 90 minutes of non-stop, rapid-fire extemporaneous stand-up comedy is a massive feat, and Wil Anderson pulled it off, to coin a phrase, in his Work In Progress show at Lismore City Hall on Saturday night.

Larf? We nearly died. And while Wil had a simple theme running through the show, all the comedy came off the top of his head.

So as well as thinking up what he was going to say next, he was keeping a close check on how his material was going down – he was recording it on his iPhone – because this was indeed a work in progress, later to be called Wilful Misconduct, a new show Wil’s writing to tour nationally.

He had come to Lismore to try out some ideas over four performances.

“The basic premise was pretty simple,” he said afterwards. “These are the best of times, we have everything we could possibly want, but we’re still not happy.’


In the show, he illustrated this theme by telling us that his plane to Ballina had been delayed by half an hour, and describing how this had made other passengers angry, despite the fact that it was pretty amazing that they could catch an aeroplane at all that would take them thousands of kilometres in a very short time.


He had set the joke up earlier by suggesting that Rex Airlines was really just a guy called Rex whose plane was so small and personal that he’d drop you at your door if you asked him to.

In the event of his Sydney-Ballina flight being delayed he wondered whether this Rex fellow would turn up from Lismore and tow the plane out to get it jump-started. But you had to be there.

The audience was mixed, mainly young, (Wil is in his mid-thirties) with some highly resilient folks in the front row who inevitably were drawn into the show; this became edgy at times but fortunately nobody was there to take offence.

Wil came out the front of City Hall after the show and chatted with audience members. He’d chosen Lismore as the venue for this Work in Progress show because his girlfriend’s family comes from Alstonville, and they were able to combine a home visit with a few gigs.

Next Saturday and Sunday, February 20 and 21, Wil’s doing two shows at the Byron Bay Services Club. Phone 66843 443 for tickets, which are a real bargain at only $18.

Before coming to Lismore, Wil told Northern Star Pulse writer, Georgina Bible, of his vision for Work In Progress: “Sometimes the best stuff comes out of this type of situation – you put yourself on the spot and then you have to use your skills to work yourself out of it.

“You get to such an unfunny place that the adrenalin kicks in and then the brain starts to fire. You don’t quite know what is going to happen, but you know it can be a lot of fun.”

He was right. It was incredibly funny. Maybe not for under-14s, as the language was ribald.

Wil’s first performance of Wilful Misconduct will be at the Adelaide Fringe on March 2-13, in the Garden of Unearthly Delights.

The winner of a double pass to see Wil Anderson preview his swag of jokes for 2010 at the Byron Bay Services Club this Sunday. The winner is Amy Barker of Nimbin.

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