Everything. The boldness, the creativity, the bullet-proof brains of a man with a vision that you get to experience for 40 minutes if you’re lucky enough.
A sound you don’t often get from the audience is the tiny, vocalized “What?” It’s the small cry of someone fearing that they’re being left behind. It’s a completely honest reaction and a glorious reminder to the rest of us: Pay attention. Keep up. Hang in there.
The show gets dark, almost wonderfully satanic at points. It’s challenging, almost frustrating at other points. But it’s disturbingly funny and Nicholson commands the room from the start and he never lets up. He had this audience working for him the whole time, even if we didn’t always understand what it was we were working for. Funny, strange, clever, come on. Here’s your Fringe show.
What I didn't like
Analyzing this kind of performance is like drinking coffee about look a bird!
Revealing specific details might make for an interesting read but A) it won’t help B) it’ll only take up space and C) you’ll still be reading instead of trying to get a ticket. Get a ticket. See it.
Ben Nicholson has brought us the bravest show of the Fringe because it’s a complete departure from theater, narrative, and expectation. This thing kicks ass and it’s because Ben Nicholson has created has own genre, his own universe that is so strange and compelling, you just want to spend time in there trying to figure out why you’re laughing so hard.
I hope he never runs for cult leader. He’d win without a vote…somehow…
Geez, I keep thinking of things. Steve Martin talks about taking away punchlines, removing the cues telling the audience when to laugh. Audience members described a Steve Martin show as being part of a crowd acting like an audience at the performance of a guy acting like a comedian. This is in there somewhere. To be clear, this isn’t Wild And Crazy guy or Cruel Shoes. It’s something else.
It really is something else.
My overall impression
Brilliant. Masterful. Beyond Fringe. Nicholson might be the devil. This might be a covert ritual designed to invoke some sort of marketing demon. We were all complicit once it was said and done. I’m not sorry. Whatever we wrought was gonna happen anyway. At least we didn’t go home empty handed.