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Danielle Walker: Nostalgia – Assembly George Square

The performance I attended was, as far as Danielle Walker was concerned, a tough crowd, inasmuch as we weren’t exactly bent double following each and every punchline. I wasn’t wholly convinced her efforts to elicit more laughter actually resulted in more actual merriment – repeated instructions to laugh louder were almost threatening, and stood in stark contrast to the usual humility expressed by comics who are thrilled to have an audience at all during the Edinburgh Fringe, when at any given time there are so many other shows happening in so many other venues. Being told I must laugh calls to mind the frustrated parent who commands that their children must have a good time at a theme park they’ve arrived at: there’s a danger of achieving the opposite effect.

Danielle Walker
Danielle Walker

It didn’t help, either, that she spoke so fondly of her grandfather that she kept bursting into tears – was I supposed to be rolling on the floor laughing my head off whenever that happened? Elsewhere, there were other moments that Walker thought were hilarious but audiences were, she noted, not as responsive as she would have liked. This is a show, therefore, that reviews itself. There’s a part of me that wonders why this perceptive and intelligent comedian hasn’t taken previous feedback away and made adaptations to the show accordingly – her family, which the show is about, evidently has more than enough past events, characteristics and opinions between them, wonderful as they all are, to genuinely amuse an audience for an hour.

And there were parts of the story that were delightful – a campfire conversation with her grandfather (still very much alive, despite Walker’s eulogy-like tribute), which the audience sees and hears by way of recorded video footage being played back, is highly eccentric but nonetheless engaging – and over too soon. It’s sentimental to the max, and it’s evident Walker enjoys telling others about her harmless but much-misunderstood relatives. She could, however, be a little more like her beloved grandfather, and hold fast to her opinions and beliefs without giving a (insert expletive) about what anyone, including this reviewer, thinks.

3 Star Review

Review by Chris Omaweng

Danielle presents a scrapbook of memories about family and all the wonderful mishaps and experiences we share with the people closest to our hearts. Hailing from rural Townsville, Danielle reminisces of the obscure and bizarre people around her, basically her entire family.

Country Mile Productions present
Danielle Walker: Nostalgia
George Square Studios – Studio Four: 3rd – 28th August: 2.15pm

Listing information:
Show: Danielle Walker: Nostalgia
Dates: 3rd-28th August
Time: 2:15pm
Venue: George Square Studios, Studio Four
Address: George Square
www.assemblyfestival.com
www.edfringe.com

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