Review | Nath Valvo has everyone laughing in the Big Top

Nath Valvo – Chatty Cathy | Big Top | Until 26 Jan | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Nath Valvo has performed in amazing venues across Australia and abroad. On opening night inside the Big Top tent in the Pleasure Garden, Nath’s first joke was about performing in a tent and being blown away by a gust of wind and the obscuring prominent poles keeping the flappy structure up; blocking the view of the audience from the sidelines. Nath turned a technical problem into a comical narrative which made the crowd relaxed and laughing out loud.

Drawing massively on personal life experience and as a gay man, the normalcy of gay relationships post the marriage equality plebiscite we did not need to have, Australian suburban family culture, modern digital communications, straight people and the weird things they do and say when they meet a gay couple, male intimacy and father and son relationships amongst many other personal experiences. Nath identifies then stimulates the unyielding members in the audience and propels them into laughter.

Chatty Cathy is bright, quick-witted sixty minutes of comedy, traversing a multitude of our shared experiences in the modern world; audiences of every persuasion can relate with.

Shared modern experiences like using Airbnb, when all you need is rest not a treasure map or a baby boomer who bores you to death trying to engage with the token gay they are hosting; (“we are tired”).

The death of social media platforms when your parents destroy it (“pics of my boyfriend’s dick should not be on the same app”). The trials of using modern communications platforms to host a dinner party and no one confirms or opts out until the last minute.

Your Aussie bogan cousin calling the newborn baby River bringing all the family together on social media; some you haven’t heard from in over a decade.

The banality which can occur with long term relationships either straight, gay or anywhere in the spectrum. “Things get “boring” there is Netflix, dinner, the weather (“thank fuck for the weather app”) to keep us interested; (“it’s three times harder for gays”).

Nath’s warmhearted, though acute observations of his mother, enjoying a new giddy sense of confidence in middle age discovering blogging is priceless. The way Nath’s Dad and dads in general communicate is an insightfully amusing and telling description about the Australian male “dads just want to be alone”.

Jokes about annoyingly good life choices of friends in the same 30s age group by getting a mortgage aka death sentence; and the rent shaming that occurs if you haven’t chosen this life path. Nath enjoys teasing people who apparently; have made good life choices.

The jokes are hilarious, tight and fast; with the possibility of inducing a gelastic seizure during the 60 minutes show.

Performing on the opening night to a broad audience mainly a straight crowd, straight in the sense of being hetero normative with only 1 audience member identifying as a gay man (there were more).

We only knew this as Nath a stand-up comedian and a radio host, who is also a cisgender gay man, asked if there were any other gay men in the audience; and only one man put their hand up. His name was Richard also known as Dick.

This became a reoccurring joke through the night, with the occasional banter between the two and the unspoken understanding between Nath and the only gay in the audience.

Nath is not afraid to diverge from the script, his ad-lib comments and audience collaborations are brilliant.

Most lines contain a sardonic observation or an amusing side that seeds a colossal punchline down the track, as with the banter between Nath and the only gay in the village on opening night.

There is hilarious contemptuous ridicule and mockery of the many in Nath’s observations about modern life, including self-realised mockery.

Nath is not afraid to take the mickey out of themselves and their character flaws. Jokes abound about family and Nath’s relationship with their hunky nine and a half out of ten World Iron Man boyfriend Cody. Who Nath loves and likes looking at their body, just not the fact that they do exercise while Nath is a lazy gay; “Cody went to World Iron Man, while I got shingles”.

However, Nath is still able to maintain his fit slim physique, fitting into a pair of tight girls skinny jeans; all due to Nath’s constant anxiety keeping his heart pumping like an aerobic workout class.

Nath Valvo has been nominated for numerous awards including the Edinburgh Fringe 2016 and awarded the winner of Best Comedy, Adelaide Fringe Weekly Awards 2018.

Nath Valvo has everyone laughing in the Big Top tent, catch Chatty Cathy now before your mother starts a blogging website.

See Nath Valvo – Chatty Cathy until 26th January.

Guy Gomeze is an artist, arts worker, photographer, writer, and occasional curator, they have worked in the arts for 25 years between the east coast and west coast of Australia.

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