Rhys Nicholson: Dawn of a New Error

This is not a show for the faint-hearted. If you get uncomfortable at the idea of a mimed masturbation that climaxes in a sprinkle of glittery confetti, this show is not for you as that’s just the opening. However, if you’ve got a bit of a penchant for the vulgar, then Nicholson’s exuberantly eroticised stand-up will be right up your street.

This daring comedy doesn’t hold back as Nicholson fires jokes that both hit the target and ones that soar far, far beyond. However his charisma and energy command the stage, ensuring that even if you don’t like what he says, the minutes of this hour definitely won’t be ticking by slowly. His material draws mainly upon his time growing up in Newcastle in Australia and the various difficulties he faced; everything from that bowl-cut chopped by Mum to bullying, homophobic classmates. Nicholson provides substance to his stories with projected images, as an amusing five-year-old drawing of the ‘rost’ chicken he had for dinner is juxtaposed with a hard-hitting photograph of his hollow face, taken during his struggle with bulimia.

Nicholson may deliver his comedy confidently, but at times his style becomes irritating. When his jokes fail, he supplements them with sing-song asides that imply his punchlines were simply too maverick for his vanilla audience. This assumes an air of aggressive arrogance that makes him distinctly unlikable at specific points of the show, which is unfortunate because he usually seems like a nice person with an interesting story to tell.

This somewhat schizophrenic show bursts with highs and lows. Nicholson is a natural performer but he needs to rethink how he engages with his audience and those moments of the show that need some pruning.


The Blurb

Happiness is bullshit. Rhys will explain. No refunds. Winner Best Newcomer 2012, Sydney Comedy Festival. ‘Check your moral outrage and political correctness at the door’ **** (Herald Sun).