Resplendent in a white double-breasted dinner jacket, Rhys Nicholson seems uncomfortable in the quirky, industrial-feeling space of ACMI’s The Cube, but he doesn’t let it break his stride. Roughly six years into his career as a stand-up comedian, Nicholson knows how to overcome the odds and keep an audience engaged. Looking like a ship’s purser in dry dock is by no means the biggest obstacle he’s encountered on his path to becoming the success he is today.
A Novocastrian by birth, Nicholson was an overweight and pimply teen, which lead to being teased by his contemporaries. A bit of weight lost saw the teasing stop, a little more and his popularity was on the rise; before he knew it, he was bulimic and in order to fit in with the crowd, perhaps not the kindest of souls. Time and age have thankfully corrected that course, but in the intervening period, the foundation of many a funny story was laid and Nicholson is now cashing in those tales through the introspective I’m Fine.
All that reflection has given him cause for wonder as to whether he’s a pervert or not – when you hear the stories of late night hijinks and other proclivities you’ll understand why. But like an aged Liesel from The Sound of Music, Nicholson is 26 going on 27 and at this ripe old age he’s concluded that we’re all a bit perverted, and quite frankly, that’s okay.
Nicholson is doubtless a quick wit and his rapid-fire asides are the most enjoyable part of the fun in I’m Fine. Those unfamiliar with the barrier-free nature of a razor sharp gay tongue be warned, you may have more than one moment of blushes.