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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Interview With Wil Anderson

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Wil Legitimate – the king of impro and social comment brings it home.

Wil Informed

Brunswick Picture House  |  Tues 11 Feb–Sat 15, 7pm  |  Sun, 16 Feb, 5pm  |  $40/45

Wil Anderson is one of the most prolific comics on the circuit. Able to distill most topics or ideas into a wit-based whiskey, he brings his critically acclaimed show Wil-informed to the Brunswick Picture House.

His show comes off the back of his 70 minutes of improvised material at Sydney’s Comedy Store – Whatchu Talkin’ Bout WIL? To see Anderson free-form is something to behold, it’s perhaps where he’s at his strongest. It’s a freedom that he loves, but one that can take its toll!

‘When I am performing that show I am not looking at developing material – the show I did for the Comedy Store was the best show I have ever done, I wasn’t looking for material – you can weave and talk to people, you don’t have to move on if you don’t want to. For me it’s fine in the lead-up because you don’t have to prepare, but the funny thing is that those shows are so exhausting! Compared to a normal show they are just mental. The physical work for the brain is hard – it’s hard to remember anything I said – and the weirdest thing is that I get these pregnancy cravings. Ordinarily I could have a salad roll for lunch every day, and I wouldn’t care, but when I am doing the impro show – I get these really specific cravings, for like ice-cream with chocolate sauce or something. ‘

Wil-informed in Brunswick will be the second run outside of Melbourne.

‘I was wanting to have a second look at the show and reimagine it,’ says Wil. ‘It’s about technology and not doing anything about the environment. You don’t want to be boring. You have to find a way that is super entertaining and look for the super comedic moments. It’s definitely a challenge. The show in Brunswick Heads is going to be the essence of what the show was in Melbourne, but with up to 50 per cent brand new material. It’s an extension on the thoughts that were there. It’s the spirit of the original show – but a lot will be brand new.’

Much of Wil’s work is topical – touching on the zeitgeist that underpins so much of our everyday. As host of the Gruen Project he illustrates how seamlessly he moves from observant and witty TV host, to an opinion maker. He knows how to walk the fine line between his many professional roles.

Wil is also not averse to reading things he may not agree with. For him it’s how you actually get ‘informed’ about the many mindsets and beliefs people are operating from.

‘One time, men’s rights activists were emailing me – they were all a bit Jordan Petersen – so I went and read it; they didn’t convince me, but I got three minutes of new material! If you cut yourself off then you are in trouble – you need to understand, you don’t have to agree with every idea out there – you have to listen and be interested, otherwise we have no hope. No one has the perfect answer. You have to know who you are and where you fit in.’

Wil believes that being a comedian offers him the extreme privilege or luxury of being paid to think.

‘Someone concentrating on their job won’t have the same luxury as me to sit around and think about “How?” And “Why?” And what the world says. They don’t have the time to drill down on a source – having the time to research is a luxury and a privilege – sometimes the thinking economy can be dismissive of those who don’t have the time to do that.’

Wil Anderson presents Wil-Informed at the Brunswick Picture House, Tuesday 11 Feb–Sunday 16 Feb, 7pm. Sunday’s show at 5pm. Tix from brunswickpicturehouse.com

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