Zany music and a psychedelic multimedia screen await the audience as we take our seats for Sam Nicoresti’s show Cancel Anti Wokeflake Snow Culture. Bearing in mind the title, I don’t quite know what to expect from this show as Nicoresti comes out to the stage with hand sanitiser, wearing a mask, a fabulous skirt and shirt promoting the protection of transgender kids. This would be an interesting show…
They demonstrate in their material...that they know how to build highly entertaining routines
Nicoresti immediately claims that, with everything going on in the world right now, they want to change the rules and shake things up a bit. Like many of us, they’ve made some discoveries about themselves in lockdown, namely that they may be transgender. In an effort to understand the full argument, they’ve spent the last year looking at media from both the left and the right. The show then divides its time between straight stand up from Nicoresti and an InfoWars-esque podcast from right-wing alter ego Nam Sicoresti (who "says what he really thinks”). This podcast is performed into a camera and is projected on to the multimedia screen. What starts off as an intriguing, satirical look at right-wing media unfortunately becomes a superficial – dare I say, at times, lazy – parody. I would have expected more from Nicoresti than cheap Jordan Peterson jibes and the general “you can’t say anything anymore” narrative, especially given they had informed the audience of their apparent amount of research. As the show continues, most of these segments became repetitive rather than thought-provoking.
There are moments of the show that are very touching. Nicoresti’s material about their sexuality and experience during lockdown certainly hit a nerve with several audience members, including myself, as we related to the queer experience. To see someone on-stage being openly honest that this was the beginning of their queer journey created more of a connection with the audience, generating a reaction from some of Nicoresti’s more personal material. This was the type of material that I wanted to see more of - because it was brilliant. However, these moments of tenderness were undercut by the right-wing mockery that Nicoresti returned to all too often.
I feel with this show, we have joined Sam Nicoresti in a transitional period in their life and career. They demonstrate in their material about queerness that they know how to build highly entertaining routines (the segment about solving the gender debate was fantastic). In my opinion, this is where their strength lies. In today’s political climate, it’s easy to create routines mocking one side or another. However, in starting their queer journey, Sam Nicoresti has the opportunity, not only to make us laugh, but to inspire audiences with their experiences. I look forward to what they bring next year.