Nath Valvo: Happy Idiot (3 stars)

This article is from 2016

Nath Valvo: Happy Idiot

A largely hilarious and relentlessly paced show about hitting 30

Basing a show on nothing other than the hilarities of his own life, Australian comedian Nath Valvo takes to the stage on his Edinburgh debut with bags of confidence. Having hit his 30s with the realisation that he's turning into his parents, Valvo reflects on watching gay porn while in the closet, his mum's persistence on buying a school blazer he will grow into (which, when wearing it on stage, is still big on him) and accidental orgies.

Although he nods to his homosexuality with the odd naughty giggle and sexual anecdote, Valvo doesn't let it completely dominate his content (apart from one particularly long, graphic tale of a sexual encounter). The material probably gets most laughs from the middle-aged women in his audience who relate to jokes about household dynamics and things teenagers despise about their parents. Other demographics seem to appreciate his comedy, too, mostly thanks to his loveable character, frantic stage presence and well-timed musical interludes.

Yes, hearing Valvo reflect on his rather unconventional upbringing is entertaining, but his fast-paced demeanour means that much of his material doesn't strike home. A reliance on cheap laughs about his naivety of what it's like to be straight can get a tad repetitive, yet he manages to bounce back with hilarious content that continues to please.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 28 Aug, 6.45pm, £10.50–£12 (£9.50–£11).

Nath Valvo: Happy Idiot

  • 3 stars

With sell-out shows across Australia and at Soho Theatre this Aussie rising star makes his Fringe debut. From his dysfunctional family to '90s suburbia, his fear of sport to accidental orgies, Nath's brutally honest and razor sharp comedy is winning over audiences and critics alike.