Adelaide audiences have always had a special affection for local boy Adam Hills and it’s apparent he adores them right back. Hills spent the first delightful twenty minutes of his show Clown Heart giving out FruChocs and having a chat with the audience, like he was at home catching up with a bunch of old mates. From these conversations we learn that Hills attracts a broad range of adoring fans, young and old, bogans and physicists and just about everything in between.
Hills is less of a stand up comedian and more of a raconteur and conversationalist, using his charming personality and unique style of comedy to share his political opinions and encourage thought provoking discussion on issues close to his heart including racism, equality and asylum seekers. You won’t find strings of smutty jokes or fast one liners here, what you will find is much more considered and cultured.
There is still plenty of laughter and even a song as Hills shares with us his unique version of the Australian National Anthem.
Clown Heart also explores themes around facing death and how comedy perhaps plays a most important role in the darkest moments of our lives.
Hills is joined on stage by his friend and fellow comedian Craig Coombes who is battling terminal thyroid cancer. When Coombes found out he only had precious months left to live he made an unusual choice. Instead of whiling away his time wallowing in sadness or self-pity, Hills’s brave friend decided to take nude photos of himself every Tuesday and post them online, the result being the side splitting highlight of this show.
At the conclusion of their unclad antics, Hills and Coombes received a well deserved standing ovation from a very satisfied audience and in spite of the more serious themes, Clown Heart finished on a very high note indeed.
Can comedy actually cure cancer? Not likely, but a little laughter can possibly help you live a bit longer. One thing is for sure; laughter is surely the most enjoyable medicine of all.
Reviewed by Ceri Horner
Rating (out of 5): 5
Venue: Festival Theatre
Duration: 70 mins