Phil Nichol - Things I Like, I Lick

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The Pleasance

PHIL NICHOL has had a terrible year - he has been arrested and his girlfriend has broken up with him. As vividly illustrated by the photos hung up on the wall, his nose was broken by a stranger on the London Underground.

Understandably Nichol was feeling particularly low. His friend suggested he make a list of things he likes. That list forms the basis of the show and it turns out to be a great celebration.

Ranging from the song My Darling Clementine to John Travolta’s legs, Nichol’s list is a random collection of objects and ideas, which he uses to springboard himself on to topics and stories.

Out of the blue, he breaks into song, the most striking of which is the one he has written for a friend of his who suffers from depression. This documents everything that is horrible in the world - written, apparently, with the intention to drive his friend over the edge.

Bringing the audience down to such a low point is a dangerous thing to do, but Nichol pulls it off terrifically - he seems to add it in to the show just for the challenge.

Another thing Nichol likes is surprises, and so he has flown his friend Shannon over from Canada, and every night of the run Shannon is responsible for organising a surprise ending for the show that Nichol has no prior knowledge of.

So far, this has involved him being chased by a giant chicken, and being tackled to the floor by a naked man. This time Shannon decided to bring the punchline of one of his jokes to life, and the audience got to pelt him with peanuts - the delight of the crowd was echoed in Nichol’s reaction, as he looked absolutely elated by the end of the show.

With the Fringe becoming increasingly more like a month-long audition for television executives, it is wonderful to find a show performed with such enthusiasm and dedication to the art of pure entertainment.

Run ends August 26