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Little Monster

  • Theatre
  • Recommended
A woman with short curly brown hair smiles evily
Photograph: Supplied / Telia Nevile

Time Out says

Telia Nevile's Little Monster scares away the lockdown blues

Indie-art lovers face our second year of an online Fringe festival and no chance of making unavoidable eye contact with a cute performer in a venue the size of a roadside-motel bathroom. When you’re watching on a screen, it’s so easy to finish a show with a “It would be so much better live”, but at the end of Telia Nevile’s Little Monster, I squealed with delight because I knew I could watch it again.

Little Monster was going to be live, but this reimagined recorded version creates an unexpected and very welcome intimacy. It feels like watching Play School as a child, when there is no doubt that the presenter is talking directly to you. With this one-on-one connection, it’s easy to go through the awkward-shaped window and visit a share house full of demons.  

In Dr-Seuss-perfect rhythm, Nevile calls her inner demons her little monsters and compares them to housemates like Overthink, who never leaves, and Coldsweat with their “je ne sais pas gloom”. They have their fun moments, but still eat Nevile’s biscuits, think cheap LED rope lights add charm, and make her “a new normal that’s darker and sadder and cold”.

Nevile’s Poet Laureate first appeared in the late 2000s at the renowned Last Tuesday Society cabarets. Her solo shows have taken us to high school, beauty pageants and a late-night pirate radio station, but Little Monster takes us into her home.

Here, she sits on a beige-cream velvet couch with olive-green nanna-floral antimacassars and cushions, placed just so. In a denim-blue shirt and pants – our poet doesn’t wear jeans – and brightly striped socks that match up when she hugs her knees together, she invites us to close our eyes and listen for our inner demons.

Capturing the energy that makes poetry come alive when it’s read, Little Monster shows how heart-hugging theatre and art can be made even when the demons seem too huge.


Snuggle in your comfy corner,
brew some tea or pour a wine. 
Watch Telia’s poems of demons scary, 
and punk rock songs ‘bout being FINE.
Shut your eyes or watch intensely,
she’s there for you, so don’t be coy.
Little Monster is complex and confronting,
and a complete and utter joy.

Written by
Anne-Marie Peard


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