I had a moment of trepidation when perusing the program for this year’s Comedy Festival. Would the great Rhys Nicholson, missing from last year’s program and now a bona fide television star with both a Netflix special and a starring role as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, be too big to do a local show? But luckily for Aussie audiences, Nicholson is back, bringing their signature dry humour, arch sensibility and slightly oxymoronic combination of manic energy and world-weary ennui. This show both is and isn't about the pandemic and the past two years, as the neat praeteritio trick of "let's not talk about it, I don't want to talk about it, but..." lets Nicholson both respond to and ignore the lockdowns and attendant trauma. Like a lot of people, he used the lockdown to do some introspection and came to the conclusion that they were non-binary (Nicholson's preferred pronouns are either he or they). The show isn't really about that, but it is a jumping-off point for stories and jokes, including a side-splitting protracted bit about his childhood decision to lean into his own creepiness and call their mother "Mother Dearest". Bits about going to the gym or friends in bad relationships could be tired in another comedian's hands, but Nicholson makes them fresh and delightful. Thanks in part to the speed of their delivery, this is probably the show that scored the highest number of laughs per minute at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Nicholson is an absolute m
There's always a lot happening on Sydney's stages – but how do you know where to start? Thankfully our critics are out road-testing musicals, plays, operas, dance and more all year-round. Here are their recommendations.
Want more culture? Check out the best art exhibitions in Sydney.