Last night I snorted whilst laughing. That’s a first, for me. It had something to do with a horse named Andrew. If that sounds at least a little bit bizarre and like it shouldn’t encourage snort-levels of laughter, then good: we are off to a good start to describing Wilson Dixon’s For the First Time. Again.
Whilst a bizarre cast of characters sit almost-fully fleshed at the outskirts of Dixon’s piece, it’s the man himself that keeps this strange world together. I like looking at things through the Wilson Dixon lens. Whether discussing the Big Issues facing the world today or the difficulties we face falling in and out of love, the way Wilson sees the world is always unexpected. Occasionally, he teeters on the brink of becoming subversive, before instead becoming charming. There is a surreal edge to his comedy and worldview that’s delivered with warmth through the drawl of this subtle caricature.
I was lucky enough to nab a seat front and centre. I assume this particular chunk of seating was last to fill up due to an understandable audience fear of being picked on, but I’m pleased to say this didn’t happen. In fact sitting front and centre was a gift, because there is a subtlety to Dixon’s performance that benefits from being close. Shrouded beneath a delightfully classic cowboy hat and aviator sunglasses, I worried about what I would be missing beneath all the wardrobe trappings. But with the occasional eyebrow popping above the frames and a sideways smirk below, Dixon maintains the perfect repressed woodenness for a stoic country crooner.
Don’t expect laughs that come from the belly. Expect instead a constant chuckle, because this is a tightly wound show where every lines matters, and every line managed to keep my smile locked almost painfully in place. I’m pleased to report similar reactions from the rest of the audience (I am now intimately familiar with the laugh of the woman sitting to my right). The wit and wordplay in both speech and song delights the mind and the funny bone, leaving little doubt that Wilson Dixon is one cowboy not to be missed.
Wilson Dixon has three more shows this Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, 8pm at Mac’s Function Centre.
Book now at https://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2016/may/wilson-dixon