By Suzanne Tate
Rhys Nicholson is a consummate comedic performer and a natural-born storyteller. They have an undefinable ‘IT’ factor that makes them eminently watchable, and the gift to be totally relatable, regardless of common ground. Out of the several shows I saw at the festival this year; this show produced the most laughs per minute, and it was thoroughly entertaining. Nicholson’s presentation is very organic, flowing smoothly and never feeling rehearsed. As the title of the show suggests, the content was personal to Rhys, but focused on areas we can all connect with, such as aging, long term relationships, parents and planning a wedding. The life goal of a future divorce, resulting in the launch of Rhy’s Shoppe in a small tourist town like Daylesford was perhaps less relatable…
Rhys expanded on plans for their upcoming nuptials, equating a wedding to the equivalent of a school play – performed purely for the participants and not the audience, and far more memorable when something goes horribly wrong. They expressed their love for New Zealand (and its apparently very forgiving border policies), discussed the discovery of their gender fluidity and explained the loving acceptance of their parents, likening themselves to an exotic Macaw parrot in the process,
It was uplifting to hear comedy, especially from a gender queer performer, based on a happy, positive childhood, supportive parents, and leading to this show that is literally fulfilling their career dreams. But it was also refreshingly honest, if a little disappointing to hear that they would rather be at home watching TV, and that the old adage of ‘Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’ is a complete fairy tale! It’s funny, that line came up in two different shows I saw on the same night! It’s a classic for a reason I guess.
Rhys Nicholson is a comedian who produces an upbeat, positive, laugh-a-minute performance, delivered with an acerbic wit and a somewhat surprisingly down to earth viewpoint – despite being a magnificently exotic Macaw in a world full of boring pigeons.