Nick Revell

Nick Revell

Nick Revell started performing stand-up in 1980, and was a regular at the Comedy Store from 1982, performed at Jongleurs from the day it opened, and was nominated for the Perrier in 1987.

From 1985 to 1992 he recorded six series of the Million Pound Radio Show with Andy Hamilton, which was named best radio comedy at the British Comedy Awards, and he also had his own radio sitcom that ran for two series.

But in 1992 he quit the circuit to concentrate on writing - only to return in 2002, making his Edinburgh comeback with the show Bare Bones the following year.

During his haitus he wrote and performed two solo stage shows: The Ghost of John Belushi Flushed My Toilet in 1993 and Liberal Psychotic in 1995 – and wrote two novels: Night Of The Toxic Ostrich and House Of The Spirit Levels

His TV writing credits include  Drop The Dead Donkey,  Not The Nine O’Clock News, Three of a Kind and Naked Video, as well as stand-up routines for Dave Allen, Jasper Carrot and Bob Monkhouse

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Nick Revell: BrokenDreamCatcher

Edinburgh Fringe review by Jay Richardson

A preview of some of the tales airing in his Radio 4 series next month, Nick Revell's latest storytelling hour is magical realism for the fake news, ayahuasca-imbibing era.

Initially set in a pseudy North London realm where shamen proliferate like Tesco Metros, Revell contrasts his strong Yorkshire roots - where his rugby talent and ability to take a punch earned him masculine acceptance - with the indulged middle-class, liberal bubble of gentrified nonsense he now inhabits.

The Native American dreamcatcher in his living room was never more than decorative, until Gwyneth Paltrow joined his social circle. Initially sceptical of the vagina-steaming Hollywood star, Paltrow's proficiency in the sports round of the local pub quiz earns Revell's respect and he takes her advice on how to maintain his folk art, the better to protect him from bad dreams.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has gone missing, only for reports to emerge of his buttocks reappearing, detached, on Berlin's gay scene. Heavy ladling the irony onto the Russian president's macho, bare-chested public image, Revell channels the satirical Nikolai Gogol story The Nose to establish the buttocks' independence, initially suggesting that the CIA might be giving the Kremlin a taste of their own trolling.

But as an International Incident threatens between Russia and Germany, Reading Between the Lines of the reports awakens memories in Revell of the occasion he first met Putin, and when, later, he introduced both him and Angela Merkel to some of Radio 4's most enduring output. 

At the core of this absorbing and deadpan-delivered daftness, is an account of how the comic and the future president once fought together and bonded during a clandestine tournament of martial art machismo in the Arctic Circle, their bromance cemented over vodka, hallucinogenic reindeer urine and antagonism of the local wildlife.

With devil in the detail, Revell marvellously evokes Putin's blend of strongman arrogance, casually indifferent ruthlessness and preening self-importance, with a portrait that's incredible, but, rogue buttocks and Merkel nightclubbing notwithstanding, not so far-fetched it's entirely beyond the limits of possibility.

As in his encounters with Paltrow, which escalate into a battle to save the fragile minds of vulnerable Londoners, real phenomena are satirically stretched but never snapped beyond the point it lifts you out of the story. 

Revell keeps you on board with an expertly paced rhythm of delivery, satirical little asides and an underlying advocacy of gay rights and care for mental health. 

Rather wonderfully, his own role in the shaping of massive world events is related without major grandstanding or even acknowledgement that this is anything out of the ordinary, his sanity serene despite the madness going on all around him.

Rich and strange, you can certainly see this becoming a prolific storytelling groove for him.

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Published: 22 Aug 2018

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