Hailing from Brisbane, by way of Melbourne, Alex Ward is visiting Adelaide Fringe for the second time in a row, this time with her new show No Flirting. The premise? Ostensibly, it's about Ward's propensity for mistaking casual remarks for romantic advances, at least according to the promo videos.
In actuality, however, the show is more about Ward's mundane family life, which she mines for scandal and drama and relays with wooden deadpan. There's a through-line, for example, about the time she was reading her girlfriend's text messages, decided she was being cheated on, and followed her girlfriend to the train station to satisfy her suspicions. It sounds a bit creepy – it's the sort of story you really hope has been heavily embellished – but it's a great example of Ward's inclination to lean in to mildly amusing scenarios and really mine them for awkward laughs.
The jokes themselves are legitimately good, but Ward's delivery is slightly under-baked: she is able to source plenty of laughs from the crowd, but those laughs never build to a crescendo. Likewise, the narrative thread doesn't build towards a very substantial pay-off. Ultimately, however, this is a pretty great set from a talented comic, and well worth a look-in if you're up for a bit of stand up.
No Flirting plays until 23rd February at Rhino Room. Tickets can be purchased here.