All round good time gay Nath Valvo has returned to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for his 11th year with his trademark cheeky material and whimsical wit. The fan favourite and award-winning comic has achieved more than most during the pandemic, what with several specials now streaming online and an envious amount of woollies points.
Like previous performances, Valvo returns to Max Watts, only this time without the fanfare of previous productions. The paired down performance allows Valvo to shine as the star he is within the 60-minute performance that includes family drama, high school nostalgia and being the second favourite person in your relationship.
Valvo’s self-deprecating humour avoids being insincere as he constantly flips the narrative on himself, being both relatable and hilarious with a new show of completely original material. Friends, boyfriends, family and aging all play a role in Back in the Habit which turns out to be more than a Sister Act 2 reference, but an actual reference to Valvo’s catholic upbringing.
Much of the performance revolves around Valvo’s own coming out story which he explains was the by-product of pingers and The Peel Hotel and how he managed to lock down his partner of 8 years who is (according to Valvo) a 9.5 out of 10.
Valvo has previously joked about his relationship, however the fact that his partner is an infectious disease scientist in a pandemic plagued world makes his performance ever more engaging as he struggles with sharing the spotlight.
Easily likeable and consistently funny, Nath Valvo always puts on an enjoyable performance. There’s no scary audience participation or confronting subject matter. While he touches on the pandemic, there’s not a great deal of Covid chat which I for one am grateful for. In looking back at his primary school past, and long-lost aspirations, Valvo encourages the audience to “give up on their dreams”. However, in a strange turn of events, his performance is anything less than uninspiring. Valvo is a breath of fresh air providing the audience with his style of observational humour and relatable drama we’ve come to love over the past 11 years.
While he may not have reached the heady heights of Hollywood stardom, his bevvy of local fans should help ease the pain as he comfortably steals the spotlight once more.
2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Back in the Habit
Venue: Max Watts | 125 Swanston St (opp Town Hall), Melbourne VIC
Dates: 31 March – 24 April 2022
Tickets: $35 – $25