We’re coming to the end of the Edinburgh Fringe, though these are the only days I’m on ground for the event. It’s a bit of a strange time to be seeing and reviewing shows, because you know the performers have already been going at it for some three weeks. There’s fatigue, and as Rhys puts it, they’re on a race to a full breakdown – but they are still paying to packed houses, and when I caught Rhys last night his show was no exception. And by that I mean he was worried about having his breakdown (which he admitted wasn’t a bad thing for ticket sales next year).
You also find the Comedians wondering why they haven’t been nominated for awards, or why they didn’t win joke of the Fringe, which also brings forth some particular moments of humorous self doubt, even when in front of a packed room. Over the next couple of days you’ll be reading quite a few reviews of comedians who found themselves in this situation. But for now let’s talk about Rhys.
Illuminated by a light projection of his own likeness, and himself introducing himself, Aussie act Rhys Nicholson hit the stage at the Edinburgh Fringe for his sixth year, with his 6th show, Seminal. And based on the content in the show, it seems he’s just managed to fit in between cruise performances.
Rhys’s comedic style sees him play the role of a witty and entertaining storyteller, as he reminisced about getting drunk at a wedding, experiencing homophobia on Melbourne tram and going to a rally for the plebiscite vote announcement. It’s often a deeply personal show, as he talks about the plebecite, the relationship he has with his soon-to-be husband, therapy and the horrific behind-the-scenes of working on a cruise ship.
I haven’t seen enough of Rhys’s earlier Fringe shows to compare it to what came before, but there’s no doubt Seminal is a brilliant show that shows the comedian at the top of his game; crafting humour with intellectual anecdotes, moments of genius and a couple of heavier moments (which he joked made it seem like a Hannah Gadsby performance… he says they have the same tailor after all), making the performance one that was as unpredictable as it was enjoyable.
Whether you’re at a Fringe Festival, at a club in Melbourne or on a Cruise ship wondering why you’re getting free ice cream, don’t pass up the opportunity to see this great Australian comedian work his magic. And to think he’s only going to keep getting better too.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Rhys Nicholson’s show Seminal continues at Jersey in Underbelly Bistro Square during the Edinburgh Fringe until August 26th. For tickets and more details head HERE.
The reviewer attended the performance on 23rd August.