With its classical faux-gold statues, plush curtain and generally kitschy vibe, the Forum is a perfect venue to see Rhys Nicholson. Decked out in his usual sartorial splendor (black bow tie, white shirt, black blazer) and hair combed and shined in dark red quiff, Nicholson is suave but nevertheless manic and mile-a-minute.

He works his lanky body into awkward flops and postures to accent his points and ab libs like a champ when a lighting snafu and an audience member distract from his extremely tight show.

In Rhys! Rhys! Rhys! he is on fire, riffing on everything from trying to get an ADHD diagnosis to the types of stores that divorced women open. On brand, the material mostly comes back around to Nicholson's gay identity, although lockdown has given him plenty of time to consider the possibility of non-binary, throwing another complication into his ever-churning mind.

Growing up in Newcastle around straight men, being in a relationship for more than a decade and wanting a wedding only for the divorce later on – the observations come hard and fast, with tight transitions and a knack for packing a lot of punch into only a couple of sentences. The laugher rate shoots off the charts and the hour never lags, no matter where Nicholson takes it.

Nicholson makes some good points about aging and it's hard to believe that he, himself, is only 31. He's an old soul in disposition and outlook. Even more striking is a comic skill that belies his years. Being such a fine wordsmith, with jokes whip-crackingly tight and a real nuance for vocabulary and timing – Nicholson has a level of proficiency usually seen in more senior performers.

Rhys! Rhys! Rhys! live up to its three cheers. A top Australian comic, in top form in a venue that brings an extra level of occasion to a very solid show.

Event details

2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Rhys! Rhys! Rhys!
Rhys Nicholson

Venue: Forum Melbourne – Upstairs | 154 Flinders St, Melbourne VIC
Dates: 31 March – 24 April 2022
Tickets: $27 – $35
Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au


Related Articles

Driftwood The Musical | Umbrella Productions Driftwood The Musical | Umbrella Productions
Driftwood the Musical is a moving, enthralling story of a family surviving the ravages of war. It so timely, that it’s both poetical and painful. Driftwood the Musical is a moving, enthralling...
Buried TeaBowl - Okuni | Yumi Umiumare Buried TeaBowl - Okuni | Yumi Umiumare
Movement artist Yumi Umiumare is out of the box and not easy to classify with a particular style.  Movement artist Yumi Umiumare is out of the box and not easy to classify with a particular...

Most read Melbourne reviews

Returning to The Malthouse’s Beckett Theatre for the first time in two years, it was a night of...

Who knew that sharing lockdown would give us all a heightened sense of community? Well Geraldine...

This is no traditional re-telling of the mismatched romance, fairies, and foolishness of yore....

For lovers of musicals or of ballet, seeing these two outstanding performers is an utter privilege.

When the character of Dave was conjured into being by Zoe Coombs Marr nearly a decade ago, he...