Danielle Walker: Myths and Legends | Melbourne International Comedy Festival review
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Danielle Walker: Myths and Legends

Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

The way Danielle Walker portrays it, her native  Townsville could be as strange and magical place as Narnia – and occupied by just as fantastical a collection of misfits.

It is a world where pelicans battle chihuahuas, where towns vanish under water and where the spirts of the dead slowly realign jewellery.

Last year’s best newcomer tells her tales with a giggly enthusiasm, giddily excited to have someone to share them with. Such an innocent manner seems to belong to someone a decade younger than her 26 years, softening the darker or sexual side to some of the anecdotes, which may or may not have been heightened for comic purposes. 

She illustrates each segment of Myths and Legend with her own drawings, featuring bold slabs of vivid colour which suggests they belong in a children’s book, which only adds to her stealthiness. For her naive  style not only makes the edgier tales more palatable, but funnier, too, though the juxtaposition. At one point, she suggests the casual approach to blacker humour may stems from her farmyard upbringing, where death is an everyday part of existence.

Certainly Walker’s good cheer and cheeky outlook are infectious. When she appears pleased with herself for delivering a dumb pun, the audience can share her delight. 

Such an innately engaging manner makes this feel like a sharing of gossipy stories and pointed depictions of the likes of her empathy-free stepmum or uncool old-school dad.

While some of the ritual myths and legends are literal – the Loch Ness Monster makes a silly appearance – most are symbolic. Tom Jones is only a figurative ‘legend’, and the object of her lust.

Walker’s energy and humour ebbs and flows over the hour, and she does take a while to get going, But she’s a naturally funny woman with a thoroughly endearing style that enlivens even the slightest of stories. 

Best newcomer winners often face ‘difficult second show’ syndrome when they have to return 12 months later with a new hour and greater scrutiny. But Walker’s built on her promise, further carving her niche as a delightful storyteller.

Review date: 14 Apr 2019
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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