Rhys Nicholson presents a show as wonderfully flamboyant as himself. The laughs start from his joyful entrance. He is smartly dressed, which is surprising but welcomed given the overwhelming trend for comedians to go for a more laid-back attitude. It is immediately obvious though that despite the suit, Nicholson also comes with a laid-back attitude as his opening joke is one we can all relate to about sexuality.
Nicholson refuses to hide his gay identity but to his credit does not use it as his only punchline. The audience’s feeling of familiarity towards the comedian grows as the show goes on as his jokes centre around intimate topics like family issues and sex, which have the audience laughing from start to finish. The staging works well to convey a relaxed and intimate atmosphere; a small table with flowers occupies the stage making it not unlike sitting in a friend’s living room.
Although many of his jokes are enjoyable and funny, Nicholson’s comedy routine lacks a political element and centres mainly around himself and his life. In the current political climate, audiences are looking more and more to comedy for hard-hitting truths, and this freedom of speech is missed within this show. As an LGBTQ+ performer, Nicholson could better use his platform to promote political discussion after the show.
Although the venue is too warm and stuffy with a larger audience packed into it, Nicholson uses this as material for his show and manages to keep the minds of the audience on the humour and not the heat which is to be applauded, though this is still a factor which is muttered among audience members as they exit at the end.
Overall Nicholson’s comedy was greatly enjoyable and the jokes, though close to the bone and often explicit, are taken down brilliantly by the crowd. However, the set as a whole lacks a certain awareness of the issues it could be tackling.
Nice People Nice Things Nice Situations is on at Underbelly Bristo Square
At 20:40 until August 25th
Buy tickets here
Image: Monica Pronk