By Nicola Bennett
A night spent absorbing the work of Rhys Nicholson is a treat for a comedy-savvy audience. The evening sets off at a fast tempo and demands that the audience keeps pace with its star, as Nicholson delivers his quick fire observations. The show has a particularly personal style this year, with the focus drawn to Nicholson’s current life stage and experiences resulting from it.
This personal theme creates a consistent sense of relatability in a show that focuses on both the mundane and the more extreme parts of a late 20-something’s world, and the big questions that we face moving into the world of our thirties. Marriage, kids and the betrayal of our own bodies rings true for those who have experienced it and serves as a PSA for those approaching it.
Nicholson’s style is not for those who like to sit back and digest what they’re hearing at a leisurely pace. It’s a rapid fire approach to comedy but executed with sniper-like precision.
There’s a combination of the planned performance with also the odd impromptu tangent that makes every show feel like an original. This is no mean feat considering the extensive billing that Nicholson has committed to for the entirety of the festival, and a testament to the raw creative stamina he clearly possesses. You can really gauge the authentic talent that radiates out of this performer, as his set routine is sprinkled with impromptu self-critiques and audience interactions that are as seamless as they are enticing. Nicholson embodies the type of comedian whose personality is highly in sync with the execution of their craft, as his personal character seemlessly permeates his set with both skill and flair.
His gradual meandering across the full stage space lends a subtle physicality to the performance, giving audiences a highly engrossing hour that continues to give and then give some more. The performance space is the perfect blank canvas for a performer as vibrant and engrossing as Rhys Nicholson.
Nicholson’s rapid chatty style may not suit all comedy consumers, as it does require a keen ear to pick up some of his more sharply delivered content. This characteristic however only endears Nicholson to the audience at hand even more, as we get the sense that much like the rest of us, Rhys Nicholson is just trying to navigate this world one confusing grown up decision at a time. Please help yourself to a great night out and catch Rhys Nicholson at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival until Sunday 21st of April.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.