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Nick Helm - What have I Become Review

If you want to see comedies best grunge rock storyteller, Nick Helm is the man. Though he is not for the faint hearted or easily offended he is a performer with immersion and interaction at the core of his routines, Nick regularly interacts with his audience and isn’t shy to adjust the attitude of a heckler, or a pair of chatty women in the front row. From start to finish he effortlessly controlled the tension and laughter in the room with sing-a-longs, audience interaction and more long-form stories of his time during covid.

The ‘covid story’ is a personal bug of mine in the theatre, it’s my belief that we go to the theatre to escape the realities of the world, and I know if Nick had performed an hour of Liz Truss material it would have been tedious, let alone irrelevant by the end of the show. However covid wasn’t at the centre of the performance, it was merely used as a time keeping device, ‘remember 2020’ being the memorable phrase before being swooped down memory lane. The last family Christmas before lockdown, the tole covid took on the entertainment industry, finding love in the lockdown and trying to explain to your grandkids what that looks like, with the whole show culminating in Nick becoming an uncle, not only that, becoming the best uncle he could possibly be.

“I was in edinburg the other day playing tennis, and I saw a bald guy reading a French translation book. I asked what words he knew in French, he said ‘please and thank you’, I said that doesn’t sound French to me” - Final joke to take home.

When we walked on in white leopard print leggings, pink shoes, an Alice Cooper t-shirt and a jacket made for a person 3 sizes smaller than him, I thought this may have been a show about him having a crisis, and in many ways it was, but it was so much more.

Between his relationship with Pepsi Max Cherry (PMC), Hello Fresh and his time-travelling love fantasy with Hitlers Dad, the real tale of the story was that of mental health, and how through the oddest of times Nick was able to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of depression. The take home message of ‘talk to someone’ rang through the room poignant and true, that if your medication isn’t working for you do something about it, its Chemistry, it is an exact science!

His tour continues with force and I would encourage anyone who likes near the knuckle comedy to go and see this master of the craft at work.


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