It’s not every day you get to see one of your childhood heroes on stage, but this show delivered me just that. I’m not sure what my parents were thinking when they let me listen to the Doug Anthony Allstars on repeat in my early teens but, whatever they were thinking, I thank them for the education.
A Fast Life on Wheels isn’t really a comedy show, although Ferguson obviously makes it funny – you don’t teach narrative comedy around the world without generating a plethora of laughs. It's more of an hour-long tour of Ferguson’s life, from the effect his father's career had on his own views of media, to meeting Paul McDermott and Richard Fidler and touring the world with DAAS, to working at Channel 9 and generally ignoring his Multiple Sclerosis symptoms like an anti-vaxxer ignores medical evidence.
Ferguson's narrative is interspersed with footage from his career, which is a nice trip down memory lane for fans of his work and a good supplementation of the show’s material for anyone less acquainted. Included in his discussion are digestible explanations of MS and disability in general.
I really appreciated the candid specifics and footage relating to the all-encompassing nature of MS and the reminder, often needed these days, that perception and attitude can get you past life’s barriers. I mean, if a man in a nappy who can’t walk, and is almost always in pain, can fly around the world teaching comedy, producing movies, playing Edinburgh Fringe, and generally having a grand old time doing so, then any excuse I have for why my life is hard is, by comparison, pretty piss poor.
As a venue, the National Wine Centre is lovely. But there was what sounded like one hell of a wedding next door, drowning out Ferguson as he spoke. Additionally, the lack of tiered seating made it impossible to see Ferguson on the stage in his wheelchair if you weren’t near the front. There was room to stand at the back but, if you want a seat, make sure you get into the line early.
A Fast Life on Wheels is a delightful hour travelling through the life and times of Tim Ferguson who, for someone who gets bored doing motivational speaking, easily delivers a warm and fuzzy message about what you can do with the right attitude.
A Fast Life on Wheels plays at the National Wine Centre until 17th March. Tickets can be purchased here.