EdFringe 2022 Review: ‘Rhys Nicholson: Rhys! Rhys! Rhys!’

Australia’s Rhys Nicholson returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with their new show Rhys! Rhys! Rhys! playing at the festival’s Underbelly hub. Marking Rhys’s first return to the festival since their judging role on RuPaul’s Drag Race: Down Under, Rhys performs to a sold out crowd in the Ermintrude venue.

Sharing their musings on life, Rhys leaves no stone unturned tackling dramatic friendship couples, the appeal of divorce, amateur porn and most terrifyingly angry straight men. Rhys provides sharp comic musings, instantly building a natural rapport with the crowd and keeping us in the palm of their hand with vivid, colourful comic storytelling.

Rhys notes that they do not want to talk about the last couple of years, but its effects are undeniable permeating much of the comedy and stories throughout. The comic points out the redundancy of national days such as ‘Are You Ok? Day‘ sharing anyone that answers yes to that is surely a sociopath given the events that have traumatised the globe recently. They soon turns their attention to establishing who their audience are, making special mention to any potential straight men before launching into a razor sharp commentary about the indignation many straight male comics face when their un-PC numbers don’t get laughs they crave.

Turning their eye to the world of relationships, Rhys shares their worries about couples when one half is on a fitness journey, whilst going on tackle the different atmospheres that the gym can have at either 7am or 11am in comic observations about being a god-like figure amidst the 11am lot yet a four to the 7am crowd. Rhys makes chuckle-worthy musings about the kindest move you can make in a relationship – truly letting yourself go, whilst then going on to detail destructive friendship couples. Juxtaposing this idea of the dramatic couple, Rhys delves into their newfound hobby with their partner Ciaran – sitting in restaurants silently and tuning into the conversation of confident loved-up young couples – leading to an amusing restroom anecdote.

Whilst Rhys shares that they are truly loved-up, one of the standout moments of the set comes from Rhys’ true goal of being divorced – sharing their delight at the potential of enigmatically getting to refer to “My first husband…” and comparing the allure of a divorcee to that of someone who wears an eye patch. Musings about the type of shop run by a divorced woman with a skit built around the idea of Gloria’s Shoppe providing big laughs.

Rhys’ quick-wit comes into play on further topics from the two operating states of fathers, supportive parents robbing them of a dramatic, devastating coming out Fringe show and subsequent awards glory, deciding to refer to their mother in the manner of a Victorian child in their youth, and their thoughts on the world of amateur porn (which must be set in a rental with startled pets interfering in the production).

For those that have not experienced the delights of Rhys Nicholson at the Fringe, move Rhys! Rhys! Rhys! to the top of your priorities. For those that are regulars, then you are in tremendously capable hands as Rhys navigates us through razor sharp musings on life, resulting in an undeniable slew of powerhouse punchlines.

Rhys Nicholson’s Rhys! Rhys! Rhys! runs until the 28th August at the Edinburgh Fringe’s Underbelly. Get your tickets here.

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