David Quirk – The Day I Ate Wombat
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David Quirk – The Day I Ate Wombat

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David Quirk’s worked in retail too long. He’s come to that point where he’s playing tricks on the customers to entertain himself. It’s not pretty, but it’s pretty funny. What’s that got to do with wombats? Good question.

The marsupials in The day I ate Wombat are present in a short-lived reading of Marcia Vaughan’s Wombat Stew and a childhood adventure where Quirk met a mate’s dodgy Dad who fed him some surprise stew. The show then meanders through what sounds suspiciously like Quirk’s stand up routines, thoughtfully tacked between vaguely wombat-related segues. It’s funny, definitely entertaining, certainly… and somewhat of a stew.

Allow me to be the fifteenth reviewer to note that Quirk is as his name suggests. Unusual, left of centre. As he says: his comedy is not for everyone. He says nothing’s really for everyone and he’s right. But this show seems closer to centre than his preceding shows. Sure there’s the odd bit of surreal theatre thrown in amongst bits (and it’s brilliant), but for the most part it’s standard stand up. Bullied as a child, I hate my day job, look what dizzying heights I haven’t achieved kind of material.

That’s not to say that if you take the stage with Sam Simmons from time to time you need to stay in the realm of the surreal, but from a mind like Quirk’s this show seems somewhat mainstream. Some anecdotes simply use swear words as punchlines, and while with Quirk’s excellent delivery it works, it’s not really an excuse.

As a performer with considerable acting skills Quirk has demonstrated the ability to entertain, make people laugh, move people, write moving pieces, be absurd, dance (and as he notes, choreograph…) and present something outside the mainstream. We hope that this current offering is a dalliance with the centre and not a sign of things to come. Stay Quirk.

All of that said, a performer should not necessarily be judged on their past work, and as a night of entertainment, The Day I Ate Wombat swayed the crowd at all the appropriate intersections, the jokes flew, as did the time, and Quirk held the room brilliantly. 

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