Play: Breaker Morant: E4 Udderbelly, Bristo Square, Edinburgh, 2007
BBC Stand Up Show Live: Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh, 2007
Nicholas Parson’s Happy Hour: Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh, 2009
Adam Hills: Mess Around: Assembly @ Assembly Hall, Edinburgh, 2010
Always Be Comedy: The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2017
Boothby Graffoe’s Songs and Stories: Online: 2021
The Last Leg (TV recording): Television Centre, London, 2021
The Last Leg (TV recording): Elstree Studios, London, 2022
The Last Leg (3 TV recordings): Television Centre, London, 2023
I first watched Australian comedian Adam Hills in 2007 as part of the Comedians Theatre Company cast of the play Breaker Morant. Hills played Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant, a poet and soldier whose no-nonsense approach during the Boer War at the order of his superiors put him in court on murder charges. The play was a big success at the festival that year.
Three years later, I saw one of the Fringe regular’s solo shows Mess Around at the Edinburgh Festival in 2010 which was an interesting concept. On stage, he straight away announced to the audience that there was to be no show. Instead, everything was based entirely on the initial banter he had with the audience before starting his set. So, for the whole show he messed around with the crowd, and it worked brilliantly. Hills was a master at teasing amusement out of people, he was armed with loads of stories and material from a wealth of experience as a comedian and he was clever enough to make connections in lightning quick time and pull jokes out of each encounter. In return, he received some of the biggest laughs from the festival.
I didn’t see Hills live again until 2017 when he did a work-in-progress show at Always Be Comedy in London. He bounded onto to the stage with an enormous grin on his face and delivered an hour of stand-up comedy based on love, life, death and the meaning of laughter.
The comedian made a very welcome guest for Boothby Graffoe’s Songs and Stories online show in January 2021. Celebrating Australia Day, Hills recounted some very funny stories from his career and sang some beautiful songs that have inspired him.
In November 2021, I sat in the audience at Television Centre and watched as Hills hosted the successful TV show The Last Leg with Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker. The critically acclaimed show provides eccentric observation on the news events of the last seven days. Wonderful to watch and live on air, the time flew by as the very funny trio were joined by guest comedians London Hughes and Chris MacCausland. I saw The Last Leg recorded again with a brand-new set for a brand-new series in January 2022 at Elstree Studios. Hill was as likeable as ever as host and the guests were Sandi Toksvig and Nish Kumar. I went again to the recording in January 2023 with guests Angela Rayner MP, Lucy Beaumont and Richard Ayoade. In June 2023, I watched a recording of the first of a new series of The Last Leg, with guests Jonathan Ross and one of Britain’s greatest actresses, Miriam Margolyes. I was lucky to attend again with guests Judi Love and Tim Minchin in July 2023.
Hills is a very amusing, likeable and reliable comedian who is a pleasure to watch.