Playing at the NZ International Comedy Festival 2021
University students tend to be… highly strung. To put it lightly, each semester at UOA is a whirlwind of deadlines, emails and late nights, often resulting in some heavy burnout. There’s not always a lot of room to find that much-needed catharsis, aside from the sad smiles you might fling your friends’ way. With her show, Anxiety… The Musical!? Maria Williams revels in an honest and entertaining exploration of mental health, one that is much needed at this point in the semester. Interestingly enough, the narrative of the show is incredibly comforting; it reassures any similarly anxious people in the crowd that navigating the weirdness of mental wellness is far from a singular experience. It’s quite the feat of storytelling and singing, blending genres to create a real showcase for the intimate Basement Theatre audience. For some section of the show, Williams makes absurd references to Taylor Swift, which consistently elicits charmed chuckles from the audience. Over the course of Anxiety… The Musical!? you become intimately endeared to Williams, emitting either sympathy or empathy, depending on your own situation. It’s a show you shouldn’t miss, especially if you’re looking for some catharsis for that week 9 stress.