Nick’s Doody’s career as a stand-up comedian got off to a pretty good start: while still a student, Nick supported Bill Hicks on his final tour of the UK, at Bill’s request. A finalist in the 199 So You Think You're Funny new act competition, Nick has gone to be a familiar face on the comedy circuit and as a writer for such shows as BBC4’s Late Edition and Channel 4’s FAQ U, 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Friday Night Live.
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Nick Doody: T'ai-Po
Nick Doody’s not an especially fashionable comic. He’s not a bright young face for TV; he’s not backed by a marketing machine to splash his posters around town in the hope of convincing the naive of his relevance; and nor has yet reached elder statesman cult status where fans will indulge him to deliver more of the same.
But, by god, this is one of the strongest hours of straight stand-up on the Fringe; a show whose only gimmick is consistently lean and muscular writing, hilariously expressing insightful opinions. And he has the delivery to match; no-nonsense, but perfectly in control, keeping crowd work to a minimum, lest it get in the way of his train of what he’s got to say.
In one of many possible favourite routines, he ponders his place in the comedy industry, drawing parallels with an unfashionable disease. Essentially it’s inspired by the same thoughts that prompted Andrew Lawrence’s rants but instead of snarling out bitterness, Doody’s pragmatic approach moulds the situation into a scintillating analogy.
It’s hard to do justice to his comedy powers in a review, for listing the subjects he covered doesn’t offer much enlightenment. Religion, air travel, alcohol and even the weirdo on public transport could be anyone’s set list, but Doody nails them all, always approaching at such a unique angle.His summary of the current political situation via a jellyfish-based analogy is a delightful prime example. And there’s probably not been as strong a section on smoking since Bill Hicks.
There’s only one segment that didn’t just sparkle with life – and that’s the true story of getting into his papers when his wife, the musician Kirsty Newton, lost her engagement ring, propelling them both into the papers, where they misrepresented him and got his name wrong. It’s clearly a big incident in the past 12 months of his life – and of course it’s told well – but just lacked that extra, unknowable layer that elevate the other 55 minutes of the hour. However, another first-hand tale – of a near-fatal car malfunction restores the balance of excellence.
There are a few callbacks to give some closure to the hour; but it’s the consistency of his thinking that binds the show together better than any obvious technical jiggery-pokery.
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