Like a moth, the audience is drawn to the flame that is Rhys Nicholson, in all of his ethereal glory, commanding his audience with the deft flick of a pearly white wrist. Like a brightly coloured fairy queen in her Masonic lair, Nicholson refers to himself as the overlord of the historic venue, first calling himself the Grand Dame, nay, the Grand Ho-Aunt of the Masonic Lodge.
Nicholson offers a refreshing voice to the contemporary canon of comedy, representing an identity we seldom hear from. A gender-defying, ultra-fashionable creature with a slightly frantic drawl, we are enraptured in his dramatic asides and impressions.
Overall, it's hard to sum up the essence of the hour that included a range of relatable topics, from parenting and relationships, to dating and pet-rearing, and taking ketamine instead of cocaine with a Drag Queen/Drug Dealer in the cubicle of a club. Sorry, did I say relatable? I meant hilarious.
Great layered queer references serve like a secret code that only some members of the audience are privy to, deftly navigated to avoid alienating the bulk of the audience. All the while, Nicholson finds the perfect pitch for a profound discussion about gender and toxic masculinity: especially in his distinction between the terms 'men' and 'males', which he completes with personal observations and anecdotes that illustrate the way boys are socially educated to develop toxic traits.
Those who walked in never having heard of Rhys Nicholson have no doubt been transformed into super-fans, hapless victims of his unrelenting wit. Palatable humour that takes the mickey out of hetero-normative practices without being offensive, whilst offering cripplingly funny observations about society, queerness, and relationships. At times catty, sometimes filthy, and always fantastically confessional comedy, Nicholson hits the nail on the head with this knock-out show.