Cal Wilson – It Could Have Been Me

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05/08/14

Gilded Balloon, Teviot, Edinburgh

One of the great delights of the Edinburgh Fringe is the chance of discovering new talent. Cal Wilson is well-established in her native New Zealand and in Australia, but apart from a solitary appearance on  QI, she’s fairly unknown on these shores. We took a punt on her largely because the act we wanted to see was sold out and  partly because she was handing out her own fliers and seemed charming. How glad I am that we did, because her show was a revelation. Unlike many stand-ups, Wilson adopts four distinct personas during the performance – an over zealous children’s party entertainer, a mega successful (male) sic-fi writer, a stern feminist in a neck brace and (my particular favourite) a drunken woman delivering the eulogy at the funeral of her love rat husband. Wilson delivered each character perfectly, undeterred by the presence of Phill Jupitus in the second row (laughing heartily, I might add). To say I laughed would be an understatement. I nearly cried at several points. Wittily written, brilliantly paced and with a conclusion that utilised a series of seemingly innocuous props, this was a triumph in every respect. Clearly we need to see more of Wilson’s undoubted talents and I sincerely hope we shall.

5 stars

Philip Caveney

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