A brilliantly bitter set to make you laugh and cry
This article is from 2013.
There aren't many acts that, even jokingly, can get away with naming their show One Man Mega Myth or possess the sheer audacity to construct such a massively overblown introduction. Well, apart from Nick Helm. For all his mock whining about always having been the bridesmaid over the years he's been plugging at the comedy scene, he's earned quite a buzz about himself.
There are some obvious comparisons to be made here with Johnny Vegas – the sweating chubby man, the willingness to make a tit of himself, the ranting insecurities – but makes his performance so special is its combination of disparate, unexpected elements. It's certainly not the one-liners, as there are some Christmas crackers out there missing their groaners.
The ordinarily dead time that passes as an audience file in is instead backdropped by rousing heavy metal, a melodramatic countdown and dry ice. Helm is revealed, singing and squeezed into white and blue Lycra with Rhinestone-studded arse-cheeks and apparently channelling Evel Knievel. Subsequently, much of the show is laced with Helm’s trademark inability to manage his anger; systematically calling the audience twats particularly those who he drags out of the crowd to act as his band (usually made up of fellow comedians David Trent, Pat Burtscher and Chris Boyd but who, Helm bitterly notes, 'have better things to do this year'). He's angry too about always being the loser: four stars never five, runner-up in everything (though this rather conveniently ignores his Dave Joke of the Fringe Award victory from two years ago).
But then, just when you've got used to him calling you abusive names, he reveals his vulnerability with a poignant segment featuring a cat and a skateboard that forces you to make a decision between wetting yourself laughing or crying in front of strangers. So here you go Helm, here's that extra star you so crave. You deserve it.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 26 Aug (not 14), 4pm, £11–£14 (£9–£12).