The winner of way too many awards and a standout performer at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Rhys Nicholson, is returning down under for a string of shows this Comedy season. The enigmatic red-head had a chat with us about his comedy beginnings, the new show and his love of tiny pizza ahead of his Aussie show dates.
When was your first ever comedy gig?
Ummmmm, It would have been about 2006. I was 16 and someone snuck me into the open mic they used to have at the Sandringham Hotel In Newtown. It was mostly material about school….I wasn’t great.
How did you get involved in the comedy circuit?
I just kind of happened I Guess. I have no other skills. Literally. I am amazed on a daily basis that I have continued to exist.
Being your fourth solo show, is it easier or harder to create a show now then it was at the beginning?
I think It’s a little of both. Every year I worry that I’ve run out of ideas. But the actual writing and structuring of the show is much easier now. A cry less for sure.
How long did it take to create “Forward?”
It will never be finished. Comedians never stop fussing over our shows. I was fiddling with the order of stuff just before my last of 100 shows last year. We have problems.
What’s your least favourite part about writing a new show?
Writing the show.
Where do you find your comedic inspiration?
Probably myself? I’m a mess on legs. I spend a lot of time on public transport and that never ceases to create material.
What was the first ever comedy show you saw?
I was thinking about this recently. I’m not sure. I guess it was someone at the Civic Theatre in Newcastle where I grew up. Probably someone like Wil Anderson. I’ve been watching comedy on VHS all my life though.
Who are you looking forward to seeing at MICF?
Oh, so many people! The Pajama Men are coming back and I’m so excited to see them and their new show. Lawrence Mooney is one of my favourites. I’ll be seeing Denise Scott’s show again. Demi Ladner is doing a show with Angus Hodge. Anne Edmond is who I want to have children with. HEAPS
Is your show quite retrospective?
Wow, so deep. Yeah, I think it is. I talk a lot about myself in there. Like a bunch. I really don’t have much else to talk about.
How is it being part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival?
Hectic! It’s like having a really nice mental breakdown for a month. To give you an idea, during Melbourne comedy festival there is about 400 shows. During Edinburgh, there is closer to 4000. So, you know, it’s a bit full on.
How do International crowds differ to Aussie Crowds?
I really don’t think they are too different. UK crowds are lovely. I think comedy is a little bit more respected over there. Its deep in the culture and the audience tend to be a bit more comedy savvy. Sorry Australia.
What’s the best audience reaction you’ve had during a show
Last year when I asked the crowd if they we’re ready to start the show, a very large, very drunk man belched very loudly. Oh, how we laughed.
Now that it’s 2015, what invention do you wish was real from Back to the Future’s 2015?
As a kid, I used to love the way they put a little pizza in the oven and it turned into a big pizza. Basically, anything pizza related, I’m on board with.
What can audiences expect from Forward?
Catch Rhys Nicholson’s ‘Forward’ Nationally
TUE3–SAT7 MARCH, 8.30PM &SUN 8 MARCH, 7.00PM
BRISBANE POWERHOUSE ROOFTOPTERRACE
SAT 21 MARCH, 9.30PM
CANBERRA CIVIC PUB
THU 26 MARCH – SUN 19 APRIL, 8.15PM, SUN 7.15PM
MELBOURNE MTH – BACKSTAGE ROOM
THU 30 APRIL – SUN 3 MAY, 9.00PM
PERTH MT LAWLEY BOWLING CLUB
THU 7 MAY – SAT 16 MAY, 9.30PM, SUN 8.30PM
SYDNEY ENMORE THEATRE – WILD OATS WINE BAR