Daniel Nicholas - Poster Boy
Leicester Comedy Festival, February 2017
This hour with Daniel Nicholas is a modern version of a stand-up variety show involving a fair amount of audience participation, games, music and various zany antics. The full-ish audience at The Cookie lapped up every second, and although this could have been put down in part to the idea that it was an expert piece of scheduling - a free show on a Saturday afternoon at a cool city centre venue - it gradually became apparent that Nicholas appearing as a camp, crass and and crazy showman was rather more a strong and well-crafted veneer over a robust and extremely well-created piece of entertainment, and the delighted audience received something rather fabulous.
In addition to the stage presence (or at one point, absence) of Nicholas himself the other key elements to this show were his on-stage DJ and a few selected members of the audience, and the quite broad-range of sectors covered: physical theatre, poetry, stand-up, nonsense, honest emotion, clowning, banter, story-telling, scripted exchanges, satire. And a treasure-hunt. While making the entire show seem random, he was able to very carefully select and control the extent of the involvement and of the emotional journey of the audience, although it seems a fair guess and a tribute to his instinct for comedy that the reason this worked and looked so effortless is because for him it was effortless. He was in tune with the synergy and exploited it perfectly.
The supporting guy on stage with him "The DJ" had an extremely clever, relative and dramatically helpful role to play, and he played it with quite brilliant understatement and just the right amount of swearing. There were one or two minor technical problems and a couple of moments where one or other of them had clearly forgotten their lines in one of the subtle scripted exchanges, but between them they were able to plaster over these gaps with slightly rudimentary but convincingly professional workmanship. At just 25 years old he is still young, too young perhaps to lament his lack of commercial success quite so fiercely as he seems to, but if impatience is the only criticism one can level at him then judging by the drive he displayed on stage his tenacity will win-through sooner or later and this boy could well be one to see on the circuit full-time.