For a show with this title, it is perhaps surprising that Nick Cody’s eye-catching facial hair is not the main feature of this performance. Packed with entertaining anecdotes from his gigs, tours and adventures across the globe, Cody’s first foray at the Fringe is set to be a roaring success.
In his own words, Nick Cody is an absolute idiot - but he is a very entertaining idiot, who is very adept at recollecting his adventures so you can enjoy them as well.
Discarding the mic stand in favour of a more hands-on approach, Cody immediately comes across as a fabulous informal storyteller. There is a natural flow to his set, as one tale unnoticeably merges into the next with an easy patter and confidence. His banter with latecomers and engagement with the audience is excellent, improvising jokes that engage individuals without embarrassing and keep the tone light and friendly throughout.
There is no shying away from sillier humour in his material, with one particularly excellent section about a fateful hotel stay that will change the way you think about going to the bathroom forever. Cody includes enough facts amongst his cracking one-liners to set the scene for each story in detail - sometimes too much detail - which removes the superficiality that can often accompany stories in stand-up routines.
Cody is not afraid to state his opinions, and makes it clear that he is aware this can divide an audience. For the most part his set remains above board, with his strongest assertions being saved for those people with dubious food allergies (we all know who he’s talking about). Occasionally darker subjects are touched upon, briefly, and for the most part any tension is confidently dissipated. Not all of these moments, however, were in the best of taste given recent events in the Middle East, which may be an oversight on the editing.
In his own words, Nick Cody is an absolute idiot - but he is a very entertaining idiot, who is very adept at recollecting his adventures so you can enjoy them as well. Beard Game Strong is certainly a strong opening set for the Fringe, and I look forward to seeing Cody return again next year.