Nicole Henriksen is Makin it Rain

Nicole Henriksen is an Aussie comedian and stripper and in this show, which harnesses skills from both professions, she gives the audience a clear rundown of what they’re going to get and how they should respond. There will be funny bits - “you’re allowed to laugh” - and some serious bits, through which we should just sit quietly and listen, as Henriksen gives us a frank look behind the scenes at life as a stripper. She will not apologise and she will not sugar-coat.

A performance that is personal, compelling and relentlessly real.

Addressing all the areas of curiosity one might have about this line of work, Henriksen speaks to the audience with candid sincerity. She is relaxed and direct, so that the story she tells feels like a conversation with friends over a glass of wine. While the show is not designed as comedy, her natural comedic talent develops a strong rapport with the audience, so that everyone is quickly put at ease. We learn about her pay, the reactions of her family and friends, the conversations she has with clients and the songs she most loves dancing to. Henriksen is an engaging performer, but the show could definitely benefit from being cut down, as she occasionally loses the audience’s attention. Greater concision would help maintain the show’s focus for its entirety.

Punctuating the performance are strip routines that are both impressive and entertaining - although at first take the audience by surprise. There is an interesting disjunction between the intimate dorky-ness of Henriksen’s storytelling and the erotic aloofness of her dances. In each dance she takes off another item of clothing in a performance that is captivatingly sexy; but as she picks up the thread of her narrative again, her increasing nudity is like a mask falling away. She becomes more vulnerable as the material she discusses swells in poignancy.

An especially important part of the show is Henriksen’s discussion of the noxious hierarchy that sets sex workers apart from the “well-behaved” women of society, and which silently places sex workers on a spectrum of deviance, from stripper down to streetwalker. This is a woman refusing to join the chorus of voices telling other women they are not good enough, and encouraging us to do the same.

If you are of the opinion that sex work is intrinsically demeaning for women, go to this show and let Nicole Henriksen convince you otherwise in a performance that is personal, compelling and relentlessly real. 

Reviews by Iona Gaskell

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Nicole Henriksen is Makin it Rain

★★★★
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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

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The Blurb

After sell-out shows and rave reviews across Australia, alternative comedian Nicole Henriksen brings her award nominated, unflinching and cheeky theatre debut to Edinburgh. Makin' it Rain is a frank look behind the scenes of life as a high-class tease, as well as an examination of our society's relationship with sexuality, gender and image. It'll answer the questions you're too afraid to ask and have you thinking up some of your own. 'Dynamic and courageous' **** (TheatreGuide.com). 'Flawless' ****½ (Kyrztoff.com). 'Amazing' ***** (TheatreReviews.co.uk). Best Theatre nominee, Fringe World 2016.

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