Nicole Henriksen is Makin It Rain
An honest insight into the life of a stripper
This article is from 2016.
Over the past few years, theatre about stripping has become a familiar presence at the Edinburgh Fringe and, like the best examples, Makin It Rain takes an autobiographical approach. Comedian Nicole Henriksen decided to strip to fund her own tours, and this intimate performance is unapologetic and honest.
From her first words, Henriksen is amiable and has strong physical comedic skills. Briefly defending stripping as a choice – not by lazily assuming its liberatory power but comparing it to other, respectable yet ethically dubious jobs – she discusses the response of family, friends and lovers. Sometimes playing for laughs, she is also able to switch into more intense moods at the drop of a bra.
Although the monologue is overloaded with suggestive moral questions, the most trenchant sequences address the irony of social attitudes towards stripping in a performance that reveals many of her most intimate secrets. The gradual undressing of the literal striptease parallels her slow exposure of her anxiety – the emotional core that perhaps drives the performance.
The raw honesty of the script is more shocking than the nudity: Henriksen's genius is to navigate the moral complexities of her career and define herself both through and in spite of it.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 28 Aug (not 16), 5.50pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).