The best way to sum up Dandyman is: “I’ll bet you didn’t see THAT coming!” Appearances to the contrary, Daniel Oldaker’s show (with some direction from The Birdmann) is unpredictable.

Let's just begin by saying that physical comedy is nearly a lost art at this point. 

The canon of greats includes Buster Keaton, Lucille Ball, Jerry Lewis and more recently, John Ritter. Let's add Dandyman to that list, shall we? In his foppish blue suit and impeccable coif, Daniel Oldaker maximizes the subtlety of live performance, often using little more than his eyebrows to get huge laughs from the audience. 

The show gradually builds into wilder and more outrageous tricks: he's an excellent juggler and can hold a handstand longer than most would be willing to stand upright. 

The real magic lies in his ability to transform regular objects -- drinking straws, a newspaper -- into anything his mind conjures up, using very strong and simple movements to do so.

It's masterful what he does and I thank him for his contribution to the artform.



TUCKED into the backstage room of the Town Hall at the child-friendly hour of 6pm,Dandyman is 40 minutes of physical comedy from experienced circus guy Daniel Oldaker. 

Dressed in a light-blue suit adorned with pink flourishes, Oldaker is a master of object manipulation and builds the show around three extended segments using pink drinking straws, a sheet of newspaper and juggling balls.

Each of the objects transform into a steady stream of morphing images. The straws are especially versatile, building into everything from fencing swords and seagulls to picture frames and snorkels. 
What brings it all to life is Oldaker’s facial and bodily humour, as he reacts to his playful environment in subtle but skillful ways.

A crinkle of the nose, a symphony of blinks, a shuffle of feet – it’s understated but effective clowning that brings wonder to the everyday objects and suggests back stories for his creations. 
 isn’t filled with whizz bang acrobatic tricks or heavy-handed spruiking for applause like a lot of circus performance.

Rather, it glides along at a gentle pace. With a versatile soundtrack and a couple of thematic flourishes, what is essentially a collection of different acts becomes a convincing whole. 



Directed by Trent Baumann, Paul Bourke and Rani Huszar, Dandyman uses acrobatics, circus skills, magic, and comedic relief to create a fresh and outrageous show.

Where to even begin with this Australian comedic genius? As his first tour performing in Canada, Dandyman Daniel Oldaker is as charming as he is entertaining. He had the crowd roaring with laughter with his crazy antics and awesome tricks. Oldaker kept me guessing and I always wanted to know what he could possibly do next as his performance was so unpredictable. I honestly couldn’t tell what was funnier between the sketch comedy or the improvised comedy in the show. It was so much fun! 



Take a dash of Mr Bean, throw in a pinch of Ed Grimley, a handful of Jacques Tati, some juggling balls, a bowtie made of straws and a watermelon and you've arrived somewhere in the neighbourhood of Daniel Oldaker's Dandyman.

I wasn't completely convinced at the start of the show as to how funny Oldaker actually was... the audience seemed to be laughing more at him somewhat nervously rather than because he was genuinely funny.

And there was a slightly odd change of tone in the second sequence that seemed at odds with what had gone before it.

 But the longer Dandyman went on, the more Oldaker won me over.

Although at times it feels a little like a magic show, it's definitely more of a physical comedy though... the few "magic tricks" he does are played for the comedy aspect and subverting the audience's expectations rather than a true magic trick. 

And without giving anything away, the final sequence with the watermelon is not only like nothing I've ever seen before, but was hilarious and clever and unexpected.

A definite quirky late night Fringe treat.

We certainly didn’t see the ending coming, or some of the other twists and turns in this physical comedy.

ADELAIDE FRINGE 2013 -Yannissm


“Presented with exceptional energy, the show demonstrates Oldaker’s live performance skills while constantly subverting the conventions of comedy and circus, withdrawing the predictability to offer a genuinely unique Festival experience”



"...the most captivating and engaging entrance for a show..."



Physical comedy is a bit of a poisoned chalice. Audiences have largely come to accept that jugglers are for children and adults are only meant to enjoy bitter, observational stand-up. Adult physical comedy is considered to be either antiquated (Buster Keaton) or unsophisticated (Mr. Bean). Daniel Oldaker, as Dandyman, is set to show us that the style still has bite aplenty.

Dandyman is a refined show that sells every gag, from air-guitar juggling to impromptu origami, with mischievous misdirection. Oldaker knows his routine and he knows it well, and readily incorporates audience participation, as well as interruptions and mishaps, into his act. The comedy is carefully composed, and paced with moments of poignancy, to build towards fruition with a ridiculous final gag, one involving a watermelon, which must have seemed like a bad idea at the time.

Dandyman is cheeky, clever and a whole mess of fun.



"I have now seen Dandyman three times and it’s always something new.....Last night the Fringe Club played host to the most talented artist at this years Fringe, Daniel Oldaker...."