Reviews/Comedy/Fringe World Festival

It don’t matter if you’re Blak or white with Fabian Woods

17 January 2022

Deadly funny comedian Fabian Woods targets Blak and white with equal measure in his Fringe World show and Bruce Denny enjoys the ride.

Always Woods, Always Will Be, Fabian Woods ·
Goodwill Club, 14 January 2022 ·

Fabian Woods’ new solo show, Always Woods, Always Will Be is currently educating both Blak and white audiences in The Rechabite’s basement venue, the Goodwill Club. This comedic show is equitable in its offerings and takedowns of all, no matter how you identify. 

Woods opened to a full house that was pulsating with anticipation and energy. The WA Noongar comedian has been growing in momentum since taking out the 2019 Deadly Funny award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Back on home soil, it is easy to see why. Woods masterfully balances the fine line between Blakfella self-deprecation and wittily punching back at Australia’s Wadjella (white) population.

One of my personal favourites was a comment reflecting that if our current political approaches to border protection had been in place 200 years ago, Australia may look a little different. Another highlight was the observation that holding NAIDOC Week celebrations held in Makuru (July) subjects First Nations dancers to the worst of the winter elements. 

The 60-minute show kept punters engaged with a fluid pace that allowed pause and reflection on Woods’ caustic one-liners and more nuanced observations. The mostly Wadjella audience were cleverly invited to share the laughs with Blak audiences on topics that they possibly would not usually feel permitted to. However, Woods’ opinions on FIFO workers were a bit too close to the bone with some demographics in the room.

The final minutes of the show felt as if we were being dragged to the finish line. Woods at one point asked for a time check giving the impression that he was struggling to ad lib, and his pace and diction were not always hitting the mark. 

But I was happy to be in the room and didn’t once think “can this be over soon”. Always Woods, Always Will Be is definitely worth the modest investment. If you are unable to catch it in the big smoke at the Goodwill Club, Woods will also perform the show in Kalamunda. 

Fabian Woods plays the Goodwill Club until 6 February and has a one-off show at the Kalamunda Hotel on 28 January.

Pictured top: Fabian Woods kept his audience engaged and educated.

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Author —
Bruce Denny

Emerging critic Bruce Denny’s heritage is Yamatji down his mother’s side and native American down his father’s. He started his acting career in the late 1980s and has appeared in numerous Australian film, television and stage productions, most recently Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company’s The Sum of Us (2021). As a director Bruce’s most recent credit is Desert Wirla’s Kangaroo Stew. Bruce participated in Seesaw Magazine and Perth Festival’s inaugural mentoring workshops for emerging First Nations critics in 2020.

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