Sunday 8 April 2018

Seminal - Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

Rhys Nicholson want to take control over his life. In his new stand-up show, Seminal, Nicholson goes through events and situations that have - in some way or another - shaped who he is, while also looking at how to lead the life he wants. With Nicholson's trademark acerbic wit and ability to speak at a million miles an hour, Seminal is an engaging and captivating piece of stand-up with plenty to say.

While he's confident on stage as Rhys Nicholson the comedian, Nicholson allows the audience to see the anxious person behind the comedian so that we can better understand where he is coming from. His delivery is crisp and is constantly on the ball, and despite referring to his off-the-cuff remarks as the worst improvising ever, the reaction by the audience in the room would have you believe otherwise.

Nicholson goes off on tangents throughout the show but his structure remains grounded around certain events. This includes his fiancée and their relationship, which includes a re-enactment of his romantic proposal, the behind the scenes gossip and general joys of working on cruise ships, and the plebiscite on marriage equality and what happens now we've had the result.

It is here that Nicholson says what we all already know, that having marriage equality does not suddenly resolve all the problems and issues facing the LGBTQI community, but because we've been laughing along with him for so long, the gravity of what he is reminding us of packs a punch. He goes on to discuss the real and constant threat of homophobic attacks now that these people have been given a voice through the plebiscite, and how gay men are still considered to be 'at risk' when it comes to donating blood.

On the surface, it's easy to simply see Seminal for the brilliant stand-up that it is. But once you think about the stories Nicholson shares, the show becomes something more. It becomes about being given the opportunity to live your best life, something that most LGBTQI people are still grappling with. Powerful stuff.

Click here for my interview with Rhys Nicholson. 

Venue: Swiss Club, 89 Flinders Ln. (Tues-Sun) & Melbourne Town Hall, Cnr Swanston & Collins Sts. (Mondays). 
Season: Until 22 April | Mon 9pm, Tues - Sat 8.15pm, Sun 7.15pm 
Length: 60 minutes 
Tickets: $28 - $33 Full | $25 Tightarse Tuesday
Bookings: MICF website

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