2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival:
• Jennifer Wong in Ouch & Other Words

Posted on 02 April 2012

Australian comedy is an interesting thing. We have many storytellers whose stories happen be comedic, who masquerade as comedians whose comedy happens to tell a story. I like it either way. In Ouch & Other Words I would say that Jennifer Wong leans more toward the storyteller, though she does come up with some choice jokes.

Jennifer Wong has written for Good News Week, was the web editor of RoveDaily, and researcher on the Zapuder production Can of Worms. Her style is thoughtful and compassionate with a keen sense of the absurd. In a world where people seem to be crying out for an easy black and white, she brings us back to Earth by putting out image after image of our vulnerability as humans.

The premise for Ouch & Other Words is Wong’s adventures as she learns first aid. Her stories begin with her mother in hospital emergency because she is choking. Along the way we learn about changes in medical procedures, thoughts about race relations, and how either rice or cola are seen as the ultimate cure for a blocked epiglottis depending upon your cultural background.

I was fascinated by how many people told me they bought tickets because they had heard her on the radio. Outside of television, it really is the best medium for convincing people to turn up at a comedy show. People said they found her both funny and interesting. I would say that was an accurate taster of what we enjoyed that evening. What was most interesting to me was not only the little medical facts, but also the insights into her Chinese background, and how easily she was able to get everyone to care.

For me one of the ultimate indicators that Jennifer Wong is a storytelling force to be reckoned with is that my partner stayed awake through the whole show and, even though he’s an introverted computer nerd, actually laughed VERY out-loud. Ouch & Other Words is charming, heartwarming, and funny, who could ask for more?

Peace and kindness,



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