It’s hard to watch Geraldine Hickey without (a) laughing and (b) mulling over words like ‘laconic’ and ‘laid-back’.

No words are wasted, as she conveys a whole conversation with a sardonic smile, raised eyebrow or strategically placed pause – even to a large crowd packed right back to the nose-bleed section.

Hickey’s imagination is often a few steps ahead of herself – and everyone else – conjuring hilarious outcomes in her head as anxious situations unfold, but her skill is then sharing that mind trip with a room of strangers without fear or judgement.

Her smart, silly stories are affectionately domestic, sharing her surprise at the very public proposal her partner Cath made on-air at 3RRR (where Hickey co-hosts a breakfast show), to her surprise that her requested surprise 40th party came as a bit of a surprise.

Ironically the casual attitude masks a degree of preplanning and organisation that is quite mind-boggling, such as her plan to get an engagement ring for Cath, and a delightful series of phone videos she shares, which were collated over five years to provide two of the funniest and most insightful minutes of the whole show.

Her fellow comedians awarded Hickey ‘the comics award’ aka The Piece Of Wood for her 2019 show Things Are Going Well at MICF, and this one is right up there too. So good, in fact that an extra performance has been added, at the Arts Centre on Saturday, April 10, at 9.30pm.

Event details

A Token Event
What A Surprise
by Geraldine Hickey

Director Name

Venue: Melbourne Town Hall | 100 Swanson Street ALSO Arts Centre Melbourne Playhouse
Dates: 25 March – 18 April 2021
Tickets: $25 – $45


Most read Melbourne reviews

  • Groundhog Day The Musical
    This is more than just a screen to stage relocation, this a heartfelt re-examination seeking, discovering and transposing essence.
  • Smash It | Circus Oz
    This kooky show is intergenerational mayhem at its finest, with cast members representing millennial, Gen Zs, Baby Boomers and everything in between.
  • Luzia | Cirque du Soleil
    Luzia is a jumble of imagery all wrapped up in spectacular environments that include a vertical waterfall raining down like a tapestry on a loom and a plunge pool for an aerialist to thrash in and out of.
  • Wicked – The Musical
    Extraordinary in scale and spectacle, Wicked is classic big budget musical gorgeousness, but froth and bubble aside, it’s also laced with depth in its narrative.
  • Hamlet | Sheoak Productions
    How do you make Shakespeare’s traitorous drama Hamlet, funny?

More from this author