The quick witted, warm and honest young comedian from Australia’s north, Danielle Walker, was nominated for ‘The Most Outstanding Show’ award at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival… And I couldn’t agree more with the nomination.
Walker provides a unique and passionate one woman show which stole my heart in her final performance of the festival. Opening the show with a talking fish, and a large one at that, she set the stage for what would be one of the strangest comedy shows I have seen, in which she described one of the strangest men I had heard of… her grandfather.
‘Nostalgia’ (2022) was performed at Comedy Republic where the small venue provided an intimate connection with Walker, which certainly aided in how emotionally invested I became with her family by the end of the show. Walker set clues of what her show would be through chosen family items on shelves, which she frequently interacted with. I felt as though I had been invited over for dinner at her house, and I was given a tour of all these precious items.
As she intermittently holds each artifact, she speaks to the wild theories her grandfather believes. The stories of bigfoot (among other mysterious creatures), aliens and government cover ups construct an image of a man with an extraordinary mind. On a small television, she provides footage of her grandfather’s conviction when speaking of his theories. She pokes good fun at the strange nature of his claims, and I enjoyed the lighthearted nature of the show.
Whilst this was hilarious, the star of the show was Walker’s heartwarming depiction of her connection to her grandfather. As the only true family member she can connect with and in the words of her grandfather, the only true friend he has, had me reduced to tears. She eulogises him (he’s still alive, mind you!) as the sensitive and caring man he is. Their connection is one that is built on laughter, shared campfire time and those wild stories, and their story made for one of the most touching performances I had seen.
I deeply enjoyed ‘Nostalgia’ and hope Walker returns to Melbourne with more stories of her family and herself sometime soon, as I’d be first in line for tickets.
Article written by Olivia Hough
Image Source: Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!