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 vs Lily, Evil Cat Queen of Earth Planet And The Laughing Fridge

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review by Paul Fleckney

Here’s a curious thing – political comedian of weight, substance and integrity Nick Revell has a new show that’s part-fantasy, part-animal whimsy. Two years ago, his show was called Feminist Porno Jihadi, this year it’s Nick Revell vs Lily, Evil Cat Queen of Earth Planet and The Laughing Fridge. 

It turns out very few people can resist a cat. 

But don’t for one second think that it’s the stage equivalent of a cute five-second video on your Twitter timeline. Instead, it’s reassuringly Revell-like in its weight and pertinence. As if to underline that fact, one of the show’s many layers is about Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un taking the world to the brink of nuclear war – there’s no way he could have just weaved that in over the last few days.

The internet of things, automation and recent advances in neuroscience are just some of the topics that feed into his tall tale. It’s as if JG Ballard has written an Edinburgh show from beyond the grave. 

Without giving too much away, Revell is living in a flat belonging to his friend, a tech genius who has rigged it up so that every object is ‘smart’. The place is virtually alive. 

He then accidentally adopts a stray cat (I never thought I’d see Nick Revell do a routine about trying to get a cat in its box, but there you go), and his local vet persuades him into fitting the cat with ‘neural lace’, as part of ongoing research into this potentially revolutionary technology. 

There is a point in the show where it goes from potentially fact, to definitely fiction. Up to then, it’s a pleasingly roguish story about his day-to-day life; after then, it’s dystopia o’clock at the Stand 4. It’s a test of Revell’s storytelling skills getting us to take that leap with him, but for me he passes, ramping up the pace and the rhetoric, driving the narrative home.

Nick Revell was nominated for the Perrier award in 1987, alongside Jeremy Hardy and the bloke who went on to narrate Peppa Pig. Whether he’s done another show like this in the intervening time I don’t know, but it does suit him. 

It’s profound and impressive and expertly delivered – in fact, it’s many things, but the one thing it’s not is funny. For a comedy show, I was disappointed about the chuckle quotient, which is frustrating as it’s not as if Revell doesn’t know what he’s doing on that front. Maybe he should throw in a few five-second cat videos.

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Published: 10 Aug 2017



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