By Laura Hartnell
Geraldine Hickey is having a great time. She’s at the Comedy Theatre this year, after winning Most Outstanding Show Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2021. She got married, bought a (third) house, and is riding high (on a horse) in all her privilege. Of Course We’ve Got Horses feels like a joyful, yarn-ridden dinner party with 1000 of your queer and ally friends, hosted by your charismatic mate.
Hickey’s audience is a broad, queer church of all ages (though with a heavy representation of millennials and younger Gen Xers) and from the minute you walk into the venue the world feels a little kinder. Hickey’s show is a celebration of storytelling (which, it’s noted in her show blurb, is how she got three houses after all), found families and queer love. Hickey’s wedding serves as the centrepiece, with the show’s endless callbacks clustered around the boost the marriage has provided to Hickey’s real estate holdings and extra-curricular pursuits. It’s oddly refreshing to watch someone mindfully revel in the perks of their privilege, rather than trying to ignore it or abashedly push it to the side.
Time apart is the best thing for marriage, says HIckey, and pursuing your own interests. She has taken up bird watching, and she knows her audience well enough to know there will always be some fellow twitchers in the audience. Her bird-based crowd work – ‘What was your spark bird?’ ‘Major Mitchell cockatoos – good colouring, ey? – is a charming highlight of the show, even if it sounds bizarre recounted in writing. Hickey’s partner Kath, meanwhile, has gotten into carriage riding, and the horse content works remarkably well against a backdrop of birds and weddings.
While the energy dips a little in the middle third of the show, Hickey brings us back with the tale of her wedding day, which in some people’s hands can be like recounting a dream – no-one cares except the person telling the story – but in this context is a funny, engaging romp through all that can go wrong (and right) when organising a queer celebration of love. What stands out in this show is Hickey’s genuine care for her audience. She finishes her show with a shout out to the queers and the allies (alongside some good ol’ sequinned razzle dazzle), which really says everything about this charismatic, loved-up, wholesome hour of comedy.