You may know Felicity Ward from her appearances on TV programs like Spicks and Specks, or one of her many comedy stage shows. Admittedly, however, it’s been a while since Ward got behind the mic in her homeland. The last few years have been full on for the longtime comedian: she had a baby, bought a house and navigated the pandemic while living in the UK.
But this month Ward will make her return to Australian stages. She’s bringing her new show, fittingly titled She’s Back Baby, to the Sydney Comedy Store on 1 July before heading on to Hobart on 6 July and Melbourne on 9 July.
While she now lives in London, Ward grew up in the small town of Killcare on the New South Wales Central Coast. As a teen, she spent her weekends getting the train to music gigs in Sydney and asking the bands to sign a beloved pair of jeans. Decades later, she still has that collection of autographs and now counts it as one of her most prized possessions. Here, Ward tells us about that treasured teenage memento, as well as the story of two other important personal belongings.
What I’d save from my house in a fire
As a teenager, I was the singer in an all-girl grunge band. (If you weren’t in a band with a female bass player, were you even in the 90s?) I lived for live music and spent all the money I had – very little, think babysitting for $3 an hour – on catching the train to Sydney from the Central Coast and seeing my favourite bands and artists play free in store shows or all-ages gigs.
I had this pair of jeans which were too small to wear. I have no idea how – I was like a size minus 50 back then. So I used to take them to gigs to get them signed. They have autographs from Sidewinder and Even – and Custard, whose lead singer now voices Bluey’s dad.
But my prize autograph was from Weezer. I remember lining up, waiting to get their signatures, trying to think of something very cool and original that would make them think, “Hey, this girl is a unicorn. If this is how she thinks, I wonder if she can play and write music? Let’s see if she wants to hang out then maybe … join our band?” Instead I choked and said “Are you enjoying the weather?” Thirty-ish years later and I still blush at the thought.
My most useful object
If I like something I become evangelical about it. You will hear about it, with or against your will.
I have this wireless Bluetooth keyboard, which I know many people have. But mine has a little holder to put your iPad or phone in. It’s not a good or known brand. And every person under 40 probably has one, but I can really impress a group of Gen Xers when I bring out that bad boy.
The item I most regret losing
This one is even worse because it wasn’t mine to lose. In 1991, family friends from our town had an NYE party. There were about five different families. About 10 adults and shitloads of kids. These people were very rich compared to us. They even had a basement that had been converted into a Star Wars Lego room. Sure, the concrete probably had asbestos in it, but it was top-of-the-line asbestos.
We decided that we should all dress up, learn a lip-sync to a song, then perform it for our unwitting parents. It was about 9pm when we demanded their attention, so the parents weren’t nearly as hammered as they were going to – or needed to – be.
None of us really knew what we were singing about but we liked the song and the music video. It was Cream by Prince and the New Power Generation. I played Prince. We copied everything they did in the video – rubbing, groping each other, dry rooting the ground. I suppose we thought it was just some wholesome choreography?
Anyway, they taped it on VHS. It should be here that I tell you the YouTube link to it. Alas, they lent the video to me 10 years ago when I was living in Melbourne. Then I was moving to London so I sent it back to them. I’d literally never had any trouble with Australia Post – but of course it went missing and it has been missing ever since. I’m so sad that deep humiliation is gone.