The well-loved comedian’s wit and charm is sharper than ever.
Comedian Tim Ferguson. Photo: Jeremy Belinfante.
Tim Ferguson is a comedic force to be reckoned with, both in his Doug Anthony All Stars tailored mariachi suit that many of us know and love, and the dress shirt and comfy pants that have become his norm.
The majority of people in these audiences will be part of the community that has followed the DAAS since their early days and then followed the career of Tim and no doubt the other lads too. He talks like we know him, and to a degree we do, but my oh my, how much more there is to this layer cake of a personality.
Our particular show started with a series of minor technical difficulties, which brought forth his impromptu wit and natural cheeky charm and endeared him immediately to the expectant audience.
With everything back on track, Tim launched into anecdotes that chronicled his early family life and his father Tony Ferguson’s exploits as a war correspondent. It was almost as if we had wandered into the second half of a lively dinner party with friends, but could pick up the storylines and concentrate on the tales in all their glory. We follow Tim’s family from Singapore to Blarney (NSW) and then Canberra and beyond as he finds and spreads his comedy wings.
The steel elephant in the room means that we know the basics of where this is going, and hearing the intricacies of the steady onslaught of Tim’s MS symptoms is confronting – this is a man Australia has known and loved for decades as a comedian who dances physically, emotionally and satirically around reality. I want to say you see past the wheelchair but you don’t. For Ferguson it’s his everyday, and what a wonderful albeit challenging thing it is to hear his quips and soundbites on his mortality. We don’t care about the wheelchair, but we do care about Tim’s health and it is hard to see a familiar friendly face in pain.
Despite Tim’s altered stage delivery and physicality, none of his scathing wit and irreverent perspective on life is missing. If anything, it is sharper than ever, and his ability to make you gasp in disbelief at what he just said, followed by ridiculous laughter at the sheer comedy of his anecdotes is so refreshing. I was absolutely riveted by the show and my only disappointment was that it ended.
There were some light-hearted (yet bang on) digs at millennials, excerpts of teenage poetry and diary scribblings, more of his fathers’ exploits (impressiveness obviously runs in the genes) and details of how DAAS first met and broke through. The onset of Tim’s MS symptoms are embedded throughout each account – from the height of it all at the Piccadilly Circus party house through to his more commercial TV shows and pilots, then the cleverly orchestrated confession to the world on Good News Week.
There is so much I want to say about this show but can’t without spoilers. The man obviously has stories for days and by Jove, I would have loved to hear more.
4.5 stars out of 5 ★★★★☆
Tim Ferguson – A Fast Life on Wheels
7 - 8 June 2019
Health Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA
Tour continues through Australia