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Don't Feed the Ducks

AMY HETHERINGTON’S NEWEST show happened by accident. But after selling out all four of her Darwin Festival shows, and her original slot in The Studio at Darwin Entertainment Centre (DEC), this local lady’s been upgraded to the biggest indoor stage in town. We caught up with her for a chinwag.

Your show originally scheduled in DEC’s Studio sold out, but it’s been upgraded to The Playhouse – how does that make you feel?
Overwhelmed. And very excited. When I saw the Studio space had sold out in 24 hours, I had a little moment of ‘overwhelmed cry’ because it was just like, oh wow, that’s insane.

I’d written on the poster ‘One Night Only’, so I talked to [DEC General Manger] Coryn, and he said he had no doubt that it needed to go to The Playhouse, so I was like, oh okay, I didn’t know that was an option for a little local comedian.

When I started comedy, it was my hairy, audacious goal. I used to see comedy shows at The Playhouse and I’d poke my husband Paul in the ribs and say, “one day, I’ll do a show up there,” and it turns out all I needed was a global pandemic.

There have been a lot of silver linings this year. What are some others?
Darwin Festival in itself being a local festival, and all the shows about 95 percent selling out was very cool. Also the new skills I’ve learnt for work and promotion.

The show itself wasn’t going to exist… Without COVID, there would be no show! I was going to write it over the year, and I wasn’t sure what it was about yet. I got an Arts NT grant to do some writing out at Rozak House, which was so great. I got the Brown’s Mart residency first, then the Arts NT residency, and neither would have happened without COVID.

You’re right – they are silver linings. Tell us about Don’t Feed the Ducks.
Well, it has absolutely nothing to do with ducks, nothing at all! It’s about parenting – I’m at the stage where we’re trying for a kid. It’s about the realisation that every adult around me knows nothing about being an adult, and how scary that is to think that you’re raising a kid.

It’s part about fears, part about parenting, part reflecting on my own childhood and the madness of that, but then how that madness has made me who I am. It’s a contemplative show but it’s very over-sharing, very bizarre, because in lockdown weird thoughts popped into my head and that’s kind of come through in the comedy.

What was the response like for your Festival show?
It’s the most scared I’ve been performing, as there’s a lot of stuff that wasn’t tested before, and an audience of people who had bought tickets, rather than a free open mic gig.

But the energy was so good, Darwin audiences are great! Darwin people are the best because they really support locals and I think a lot of them just really needed a laugh after the year we’ve had.

Why should peeps come along and see it?
Well it’s the first time a local Darwin comedian has had a solo show at the Darwin Entertainment Centre, which is pretty great? It’s also a good show to see with parents, because it’s a bit reflective about the role of parents – there’s a bit of rudeness, so as long as they can handle that…

And it’s a good one for the girls! The show’s at 7.30pm, so you can grab a few pre-show cocktails and book a late dinner afterwards. Why not?

Don't Feed The Ducks
COST $30

Photos: Joshua Griffen

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