Nicole Travolta is Doing Alright

Nicole Travolta is Doing Alright is Travolta’s debut show that tells the story of her crippling shopping addiction and how she manages to abscond a steadily increasing mountain of debt through the medium of spray tanning. With absurd anecdotes, sincere reflection and a sprinkle of celebrity invitations, Nicole Travolta is Doing Alright leaves you feeling touched.

You have complete faith in her authenticity, hanging on every word

Travolta is incredibly energetic on stage, with a bubbly and peppy personality that would make anyone smile. She relieves us all by addressing the elephant in the room right away (her surname) and the audience quickly realise that Nicole has so much more to her than being a Travolta. Yes, this resembles the cliched comeback commonly used by those branded with the label of ‘nepotism baby’, but Travolta’s childhood stories are anything but a cliche. Her introduction levels with the audience, enabling them to feel a deeper connection to the struggles she is yet to open up about.

Travolta warms into her performance, and there are some elements to her opening half that could be improved with minor revisions. The projector was skilfully utilised to good effect, more so than by most acts, but some of the jokes were a little on-the-nose. This works when the audience are familiar with the performer, but can create a slightly stilted atmosphere when placed at the beginning of a show. The impressions of her family members, for instance, could be more exaggerated to combat this and break the ice.

Despite this, Travolta’s storytelling gathered momentum so effectively that I turned a blind eye to the initial obstacles. The narrative itself is captivating, with jaw dropping anecdotes of maniacal spray tan clients, impersonated convincingly by Travolta. Her demeanour is such that you have complete faith in her authenticity, hanging on every word. Her impressions are entertaining and I wished for more, particularly as it is a skill that Travolta herself takes much pleasure in.

Travolta managed to convey a complex story of two halves through clever structuring choices, handpicking snippets of conversations that she spins into a captivating yarn of obsessive materialism. Travolta lets down her guard at the end of the show, and one is left feeling a heartfelt affiliation and bond with her journey. We feel uplifted by her honesty and overwhelming optimism. Nicole Travolta is Doing Alright is a true peak behind the curtain that will move and inspire you.

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Reviews by Isabella Thompson

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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

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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 £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

Bad with money, great with a (spray) gun. A one-woman show about a compulsive shopper who freed herself from debt and shame (and the weight of a famous last name) one spray tan at a time. Spray tanning is one of Hollywood's best kept secrets. As a skilled impersonator, Travolta introduces her audience to some of the... how shall we say.... eccentric... clients she's met on her shockingly bizarre journey through the world of spray tanning. Doing Alright has enjoyed sold out runs at The Groundlings Theatre and Dynasty Typewriter in Los Angeles.

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