Daniel Kitson is an enigma; a complex juxtaposition of traits that make him very funny and accessible to a wide range of people. Popularity is something that Daniel himself struggles with. Despite him being somewhat of a Luddite, eschewing Facebook and Twitter, his website boasts a fan base of 20,000 people, much to the apparent dismay of Daniel.
For someone who wanted to be a comedian ever since he was 13 years old, as confessed in his latest production Where Once Was Wonder, he says he isn’t in the game for fame or fortune. He also warns us not to come to his shows because you believe that you will get along with him in real life. Daniel wears his heart on his sleeve with private and sometimes poignant confessions, but maintains the boundary that prevents the audience getting too close.
Kitson always manages to completely transfix his audience with his stories, which appear to be a random series of vignettes, but all loose threads are tied at the end. All but one, as we shall see later. As he strolls casually onto the stage at the late hour of 10pm, one is struck by how completely unrecognisable he is to the bearded and hirsute Daniel of old. The act of shaving his beard and head is fodder for one of the stories of the “impossible becoming inevitable”, one of the central themes of Where Once Was Wonder, along with tales of loneliness, not joining in, and cutting the head off a pig. His masterful and sophisticated use of the English language is on display tonight, with the occasional profanity thrown in at the right time to maximum comedic effect. So funny is he, that laugh at one joke and you may miss another if you aren’t listening closely enough.
One of the main stories of the night is Daniel relating a story of a girl with whom he finally realised that he had fallen in love with, over a period of time, particularly when he drove 3 hours just to spend 15 minutes with her, and he oscillated between confessing his love and not confessing, believing that his love was unrequited. Not surprising, it crept up on him, for a man who doesn’t believe in love at first sight, and who believes that people justify love at first sight to themselves just to get a shag. In keeping with the theme of the “impossible becoming inevitable”, his quest to tell her how he feels is interspersed with other humorous tales; Daniel informs us that he once wanked over UK artist Pixie Lott, who is virtually unknown to tonight’s audience. Daniel explains she’s an artist who looks younger than someone of legal age, and he Googled her age after the said wanking, so that makes it all the more perverse, but draws screams of “knowing” laughter from the throng. He tells us, to make it more topical for Aussie audience, he needs to find a local Aussie artist of similar calibre, and wank over her first, then Google her age.
One New Year he’s invited to a friend’s place for some serious feasting, and Daniel takes his Lambrini red wine and some pork scratchings, with his funny aside pre-prepared, the wife opens the door and Daniel exclaims “Now that was a good year” pointing to the Lambrini, to the wife’s reply of "you’re a day early", much to Daniel’s dismay and slight embarrassment. He is invited in the house only to find that they are struggling to fit a suckling pig in the oven tray, and Daniel finds himself successfully be-heading the pig with a cleaver, once again making the “impossible inevitable”.
Daniel is a fan of actors or musicians that shun awards ceremonies and Royal Variety Shows. The very act of “not joining in” appeals to Daniel. He ends the show by saying that he flies to see this girl and professes his undying love for her, but gets to the part where she opens the door and he stops, leaving us all guessing, and keeping that mystery for him, culminating in another brilliant show from the master Daniel Kitson.
Where Once Was Wonder takes your breath away.