Rhys Nicholson: Seminal (4 stars)

This article is from 2018

Rhys Nicholson: Seminal

Comedic brilliance as rank homophobia is exposed

This is a loosely framed but tightly written eighth solo hour from the feted Aussie comic. With material as smart and sharply cut as his pin-striped suit, it's a sheer, exhausting joy to listen to Rhys Nicholson. Seminal is speedily paced with comic asides shooting out at a rate of knots, keeping the laughs unrelenting. Somehow, he makes what must be a hell of a lot of work look so easy. All arch and waspish, Nicholson is amusingly disparaging about most topics plus there's some wonderfully macabre gossip (the best kind) about cruise ships.

But the piece is framed by the personal, as he details his proposal of marriage (barely a proposal, more of a drunken idea suggested to his boyfriend), segueing into the Australian plebiscite of last year to gauge the public's thoughts on legalising gay marriage. Given that he married lesbian comedian Zoë Coombs Marr in 2015 in an equality publicity stunt at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, it's no surprise that he's keen to talk about it.

The denouement to this theme is the only time he pauses to let a short while go by without any laughs for his own Gadsby moment, where he outlines the abuse and subsequent death threats he received from a thick-necked homophobe on a train. This uncharacteristically serious moment allows the feeling of fear and frustration he and so many others feel on a regular basis to sink in. Sadly, despite the positivity in airing a discussion it also brought the negative viewpoints to the fore too. Sheer comedy brilliance.

Underbelly Bristo Square, until 26 Aug, 9.05pm, £12.50 (£11.50).

Rhys Nicholson – Seminal

  • 4 stars

Underbelly and Phil McIntyre Management It's me, Rhys. Please come to my show. Barry Award nominee, Melbourne International Comedy Festival. 'Aloof, wired, super smart, super quick… this is an excellent, laughter-filled hour and by the end we are all Rhys Nicholson fans' (Scotsman). 'Nicholson is one of the most…