Braving the cold is worth a visit to the Winterfest 2018 at Port Adelaide. With some exciting events and activities going on this year there’s bound to be something for everyone. It’s a family affair with loads of activities for young and old like Winter Workshops, Ice Skating, Crafts and Market Stalls. The Ice Cube is an old Flour Shed building where there will be live music and comedy shows. On the first Friday night of the festival comedian Fiona O’Loughlin graced us with her hilarious presence. It’s been a while since she last performed in Adelaide and with a full house of die hard fans, the South Australian born comedian was overwhelmed with emotion and humbled by the love shown by the audience.

It’s easy to like O’Loughlin with her brand of unashamed honest and raw comedy. She knows how to make her audience feel like she’s one of them with her autobiographical stories and adventures. Telling us how she creates her shows she explained when someone asked her “How do you write your shows?” she quipped “I just wait”. Her life is full of comical occurrences and it was her family who provided many of the hilarious stories.

No topic is off limits. Whether it was about her divorce or her children or parents and other members of her immediate family the show was a very unconventional (as she described it) Ted Talk. Her Catholic upbringing has had a great impact on her life and possibly explains the life choices and decisions she made. Like she said “I’m Catholic that already makes me guilty”.

There were poignant stories of her near death experience from an alcoholic binge resulting in two weeks in a coma that made you think “ooh should I laugh at that?” and yes, we laughed. Only O’Loughlin knows how to tell a serious story and make you laugh without feeling uncomfortable. Your waiting for the punch line and it punches you quite comfortably without shame.

Her time on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here had us in stitches. As she said “I think I won cos I love a good bitch session, a good barney and I slept my way to the top” referring to the fact she was so lazy that all she did was sleep! There were plenty of good juicy behind the scenes stories of the other contestants and who she warmed to and who she didn’t. Brutal and honest is how I would describe it!

This was my first time seeing Fiona O’Loughlin live and from the moment she came on stage I didn’t stop laughing. There was a sense of warmth and humility about her that makes her connect to the audience. Even after the show she willingly obliged fans photos or hugs with genuine affection. It was on fun evening that for a few hours made you forget the cold weather outside!

Review by Anastasia Lambis