Reviewer: Matt Farnham
Seventeen is a show where comedienne Danielle Ward takes the opportunity to reflect back on her own life at 17, but more importantly impart some important life lessons on today’s teenagers. Danielle sets the tone for the show by transporting the audience back to 1996 when the Spice Girls were installing girl power and all tomatoes were good tomatoes.
Danielle Ward comes across as a likeable and approachable person just offering her wise musings on life. Her ability to look back at her life experiences and laugh at herself first gives her act and honesty that so many comedians lack. Her softly spoken words contrast with her topics of conversation as she glides between topics such as female masturbation, the property ladder, and one night stands, by bringing a passion and vigour to each topic in equal measure.
The show is carefully strung together with a nine-step guide that allows Ward to jump between funny anecdotes and personal experiences with sometimes dark and savage one-liners. These points are opportunities for Ward to explore her opinions in subtle and deceptively clever ways, tackling politics, terrorism, and relationships using analogies including dishwashers and celebrity stalking. The pacing of Seventeen is particularly astute as Ward starts in such a slow casual way and builds to a rousing crescendo of song and high energy.
Ward does a great job of blending her dark humour with a much more light fare, treading the line between the two before leaping to the extremities of dark comedy and just as quickly sliding back to a much brighter line of thought. Ward’s songs, in particular, are well-placed messages to contemporary teenagers containing little pearls of wisdom mixed with cleverly disguised rages. This show is a subtle blend of helpful tips for teenagers and a love letter to the 90s that is accentuated with great references and fiercely perceptive advice.
Runs until 28 August 2016 | Image: Idil Sukan