Rhys Nicholson – Eurgh

By Alanta Colley 

Rhys Nicholson is set to make an impression. With razor sharp cheekbones under a bright red quiff, thick rimmed glassless glasses and elegant dining attire one does not expect a shrinking violet, and that is exactly what one doesn’t get.

Rhys emerges on stage in a flurry of masturbatory simulation, instantly articulating the tone of the show. Filth comedy is interspersed with personal thoughts on porn, atheism, blasphemy, the relationship with his boyfriend, the odd personal anecdote and a reflection on power dynamics in society. Nicholson’s delivery is dry, acerbic, and anti-establishment. Delivered in a droll fashion with a smile not once crossing his lips, this show is not for the faint of heart.

It’s important for a comedian to find their audience. On this particular night, Nicholson’s audience contained several elderly couples on their one night out for the week to experience as they audibly termed it ‘culture’, who had probably mistaken Nicholson’s debonair appearance as some sort of indication of a Sinatra-esque night of cocktail comedy.  Their shoddy heckles interspersed with stony silence were handled deftly by Nicholson, although there was a palpable feeling of regret in the room indicating that these people just weren’t meant to spend an hour together. Nicholson’s bio in the Fringe guide gave no indication that anal sex and fisting would be frequent features of his prose.  Nicholson definitely has an audience out there, and this wasn’t it.

Maybe this disparity sucked the energy out of the room; however Nicholson’s tales lacked a convincing through-line, matching book ends, nor the punch the edgier material was no doubt meant to elicit. The ending was unconvincing in its climax. While there are some genuinely original and amusing reflections in this hour of Eurgh, it never became clear exactly what this show was about, or why.

If you like your comedy risqué and rather raw, you and Nicholson are going to get on fine.

Rhys Nicholson – Eurgh is on until March 1 at The Rhino Room


Gravity Boots – Can you believe we’re in a forest?

By Alanta Colley

Adelaide-born duo Gravity Boots unleash their most recent batch of exotic, surreal and enchanting sketch comedy on the unsuspecting audiences of Adelaide this Fringe. From Victorian starlets on the run from odd monsters, to macabre children’s television presenters, and on to defective and murderous androids, we meet a cacophony of demented characters each more obscure, sculpted, and strange than the last. Each sketch echoes the absurdism of ‘League of Gentleman’ and Kubrick, but takes the genre a step further, somehow creating a robust internal logic that you are momentarily immersed in, though find yourself shaking your head with confusion seconds after its conclusion. The effect is deranged delight.

The two augment their poetic ramblings with a bevvy of accents, props and poses, though are far from reliant on these. An inexplicable and prolonged costume change mid show only added to the peculiarity. In this particular show all the characters seem to embody varying degrees of femininity; but what that might mean is as clear as mud. The two work exceptionally well together; perfect co-authors in their illusory manifestation.

The duo, James Lloyd-Smith & Michael Cleggett, who’ve been crafting their unique art for several years now have really honed the finer aspects of performing in this show. They continue to create vivid and hallucinogenic characters on the most unpredictable adventures. Though since their run last year in Edinburgh, some time being mentored by Paul Foot and with the help of director legendary Adelaide surrealist comedian Steve Sheehan, they’ve established the occasional pause during their onslaught of complex and verbose prose to allow the audience time to reflect and really appreciate the absurdity of what they are witnessing. The effect has been a transition from the sort of theatre where you are holding on desperately to every word trying to elicit some sort of meaning, to art that you can absorb and appreciate all the more. It’s been fantastic to watch these two own their material in this way.

Prepare yourself for surrealist lashings of the erotic, the macabre, and the entirely unpredictable. You’ll remember this show long after you leave the theatre.

Gravity Boots – Can you believe we’re in a forest? is on from Feb 16 to March 16 at the Tuxedo Cat – Raj House
Details at the Adelaide Fringe Website: http://www.adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/gravity-boots-can-you-believe-were-in-a-forest/ad66b9bf-676a-4bfc-a997-bf85ffbbe464

Marcel Lucont – Gallic Symbol

By Cathy Culliver

Marcel Lucont probably doesn’t even need anyone to review his show. He’s already a pretty vocal and enthusiastic supporter of himself. As he reminds the audience, if you enjoy his show, you are correct.

The suave Frenchman bills himself as a classic specimen of a man, irresistible to women and supremely talented in, well, everything. His new show Gallic Symbol opens with him singing “I’m so much better than you”, just in case you were, you know, having any initial doubts.

Monsieur Lucont is of course just a character played by UK native Alexis Dubus, but you could be forgiven for being duped into thinking this really is a Frenchman who really does think that much of himself.

Dubus has the character down pat; the clothes, the bare feet, the glass of red wine cradled in one hand … not to mention the general air of arrogance and disgust for everything that is not French. It’s all utterly convincing and completely hilarious.

And such is Dubus’ mastery of the French accent that at one point Marcel performs a mocking impersonation of an Englishman; if you bear in mind this is actually an Englishman impersonating a Frenchman impersonating an Englishman, that’s no mean feat.

The show itself is a mixture of songs, poetry and stand up, all seemingly to serve one purpose: to point out to the rest of the world where we’re all going wrong, and to tell us what we can learn from the French.

What’s amazing however is that Marcel Lucont still comes off a very likeable, dare I say even loveable, character. Maybe it’s his confidence, and his “f**k that” attitude to life. Nothing can rattle him, not even jumping out of a plane; he’s just too damn sophisticated and French for that.

This is a very funny, very clever show. Marcel Lucont is no doubt destined for great things (as I’m sure he also firmly believes) so make sure you catch him while he is still honouring us with his presence in Australia.


Marcel Lucont – Gallic Symbol  is on for the full run of the Adelaide Fringe Festival at Tuxedo Cat.

Adelaide Fringe Award Winners 2012 Announced

After another very successful Fringe where ticket sales were up by 10% The Adelaide Fringe Festival Awards were handed out yesterday. Michael Workman, who won best Newcomer at last years Melbourne International Comedy Festival won the Best Comedy award for his new show Mercy. Workman is originally from Perth and won Raw in 2008, which was his first year of doing comedy and that saw him flying off to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe. Workman will next be performing Mercy at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The other nominees were Andrew O’Neill for Alternative and Felicity Ward in the Hedgehog Dilemma.

The Award for Emerging Comedy Artist was given to UK hip hop act Abandoman who are Rob Broderick and multi instrumentalist James Hancox.

Best Children’s Presentation Award went to Brown Brown Brown Brown – The Kids’s Show by Dr Brown & Stuart Bowden.

The Pick of the Fringe went to sexy circus troupe La Clique’s La Soiree and The TalkFringe Award went to Mindblown a close up magic show by Matt Tarrant.

The Underbelly Edinburgh Award which comes with $27,000 went to beat box vocal percussionist Tom Thum for his show Strut & Fret and Tom Thum.

Full list of winners can be found on the Adelaide Fringe Festival site