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The Age


Date: 09/04/2005
Words: 247
Source: AGE
          Publication: The Age
Section: A2
Page: 9
Title: Rebel Wilson in Confessions of an Exchange Student

Where: Melbourne Town Hall, corner Collins and Swanston streets, city

When: Today at 7.15pm and tomorrow at 6.15pm

Details: Tickets $18/$15 each. Tel: Ticketmaster7 on 1300 600 013 or visit www.ticketmaster7.com

SUBSCRIBING to the Magda Szubanski sacrifice-all-vanity school of comedy, Rebel Wilson, 24, is carving out a distinctive career for herself. Often cast as the likeable cloth-eared dolt (Toula in the SBS TV series Pizza and Jen from the Rachel and Jen on the lounge Australian Idol ad campaign), Wilson is also well-known for her stage plays in Sydney.

Having already written and performed two critically acclaimed autobiographical shows (Spunks and The Westie Monologues), she has now mined her year-long sojourn as an 18-year-old exchange student in South Africa. She says near-death experiences that included shootings, a close shave with a herd of rhinos and a month spent in intensive care with malaria gave her plenty of material.

Those combined with knowing little about South Africa and being billeted with a white supremacist Afrikaner family, added up to an eye-opening and often terrifying adventure.

Wilson says the script just poured out of her. "I really like writing from real-life experiences. Audiences seem to prefer the stuff I couldn't have made up."

Wilson alternates between improvising and sticking to the script, depending on the crowd's response. The show is half jokes and half storytelling, and so far the reaction has been excellent. -- LILY BRAGGE

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