Daniel Oldaker: Dandyman

Note: This review is from 2013

Review by Steve Bennett

Somewhere between Pee-Wee Herman and Mr Bean, Daniel Oldaker’s alter-ego Dandyman has the sort of easily-identifiable look that any international near-silent icon needs. Bequiffed and besuited in a powder-blue tux rarely seen outside of teenage prom nights and set off with a bow tie made of shocking-pink drinking straws, he certainly cuts a distinctive figure.

Those straws prove a mainstay of his act, as the charming opening routine involves him constructing all manner of imaginary props out of an ever-increasing chain of them, from a fishing-rod to a vagina. It seems to be for his own entertainment, but with glances of google-eyed innocence, he implores us to get on board with teh fantasies, too.

After this set-piece, the show subsides into more standard street-performer fare – juggling, miming that his suitcase is impossibly heavy, an odd bit of acrobatics, and a magic trick that fools no one – weaved around a loose narrative and some unintimidating audience participation. It’s an engaging, gentle performance, enhanced by his malleable facial expressions, but ultimately none-too exciting.

The showstopper is more of a spectacle, however, a funny and messy bit of physical comedy that involves the worst abuse of a watermelon since Gallagher’s heyday. It’s a memorable bit of circus that the majority of the show otherwise doesn’t live up to.

Review date: 14 Apr 2013
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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