Phil Nichol: Twenty

Phil Nichol is a born entertainer. This year’s show, Twenty, is a rundown of his best bits from two decades of performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Before the hour has even begun, Phil is on stage greeting people in the Assembly Checkpoint venue with a grin similar to that of a child who thinks Christmas has come early.

You cannot leave this show without being marginally insulted, quite exhausted yet thoroughly entertained.

What is so impressive about this Canadian funnyman is his ability to turn his hand to any kind of comedy. Phil is a multi-faceted performer meaning he can do everything from musical comedy to one-liners, storytelling, characterisation, black comedy, blue comedy — you name it. The way he alternates from a Shakespeare soliloquy to strumming a song about a gay eskimo and then recounting a tale about his cheating ex-wife with such speed and accuracy is exemplary. He also decides to enter and re-enters the stage in some of his styles from the last 20 years. Whereas an inexperienced comedian could make this look tiresome, Phil has the ability to trick an audience into thinking the show has been reborn.

Make no mistake, Phil is a pro who knows exactly what he’s doing — planning everything from stage lighting to set and music choices. Yes, it is true that anybody can make a plan, but can they do it with such panache, and by panache I mean jazz hands? The answer is probably not. Fans of Phil’s work will know exactly what I mean but if you’ve yet to see this award-winning comedian in action, Twenty is a Very Short Introductions book to his work. As he scurries from one side of the stage to the other, breaking into a sweat which turns his T-shirt from light to dark, some of his work is so deliberately politically incorrect that you cannot leave this show without being marginally insulted, quite exhausted yet thoroughly entertained. 

Reviews by Sophia Charalambous

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The Blurb

Wow. Where does the time go? Double nominee and Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Phil Nichol celebrates his 20th year of solo comedy shows at the Fringe. To honour this milestone Phil presents his greatest hits of the last two decades. It'll be eye-popping, gut-wrenchingly funny! Did we mention that it's been 20 years? If you have seen him perform live then you will know that this is going to be one of his greatest all-time performances. It's been 20 years people! Do not miss this show. Book Early!

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