Danielle Walker – Nostalgia

Reviewed by Bren Carruthers

There’s a feeling you’re being welcomed into Danielle Walker’s home as you walk in to see her show Nostalgia, with a set mimicking the dated décor of a family home and family photos flicking across a TV screen. But when the giant, two-thousand dollar, customised Billy The Bass that adorns the wall welcomes her on stage, you can be reasonably assured that plenty more absurdity will follow, in a playful marriage of the familiar and the bizarre.

Transplanting a tiny slice of Australiana to the stage at Comedy Republic, Danielle regales us with anecdotes drawn from her family in and around Tully in North Queensland. From smelling bigfoot to (literally) digging your own grave, the stories still somehow retain a kernel of relatability despite their off-the-wall outlandishness.

Danielle is one of those few gifted people that can make you chuckle with just a twitch of their face, and these stories would have nowhere near the impact if they weren’t delivered with such expressive incredulity – even though she freely admits that she is just as ridiculous as they are. It is just one of many small, attentive details that lift a good show to the level of a great one – one that is well worthy of its nomination for the Festival’s Most Outstanding Show.

At a time when many people are only just beginning to reconnect with family members post-covid, whether interstate or overseas, Nostalgia strikes a particularly poignant chord. It’s a loving celebration of the Australian family – some, like Danielle’s, are far more ridiculous than others, but we love them all the same.

Danielle Walker performs Nostalgia is on at Comedy Republic until April 24