Review: Nath Valvo’s “Almost 30”

Getting older is not Nath Valvo’s primary concern in Almost 30. No, thanks to his eternally pre-pubescent face and figure, getting older isn’t the issue. Rather, Valvo has the rather unlucky knack of throwing terrible birthday parties (usually through no fault of his).

Almost 30 is an intimate affair. As people walk in, they’re greeted by a guy at the door (“Welcome to the party – please take some lollies!”), and it’s only uphill from there. Valvo has sold out many of his shows, and it’s clear why. He has a very quick way of speaking, which means that the audience never has time to get bored or tired. And it doesn’t hurt that his material is gold, too.

Photo credit: James Penlidis

Photo credit: James Penlidis

As he told Pop Culture and Coke in our interview, the show isn’t really about turning 30. Rather, it’s about looking back on all the birthday parties that should be important – the 18th, 16th, the 21st, even the 29th – but don’t always go according to plan.

Each story begins with a song that captures the essence of the year, as according to Nath. Kylie Minogue is there, as is Bardot. And some interesting dance moves. (Valvo has a bit of a go at modern dubstep – “How do you dance to it?” – compared to the music videos of the 90s, which came complete with dance steps in the music videos.) The 29-year-old isn’t short of birthday stories. From the time a schoolmate almost drowned in a mini golf course to the time in New York he had a “confusing sexual encounter with a hot, black man”, Nath Valvo hasn’t had an easy time of it.

Let’s not even get started on the time with the uh, video and the horses and…We’ll leave that for Nath to share.

Valvo even boldly gets audience members up on stage to prove points. It’s a testament to him (and indeed, the audience members) that they managed to make the unscripted moments of the show amusing.

If you’re looking for a couple of hours of alternating horror and hilarity, this is the show for you.

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Sharona Lin

Founder and editor-in-chief of Pop Culture-y. Also writes, works in the public service and watches a lot of TV. Graduated RMIT with a Bachelor of Communications in 2014.

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