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Reviewed by Catherine Hart

Rhian-vested is stand up in true raw and honest form. Comedian Rhian Wood-Hill draws on his real-life experiences to take us on a journey of story telling, with the odd mathematical graph thrown in.

Wood-Hill seems nervous and hesitant, sometimes mumbling words to the point that it can be hard to hear. His confidence visibly grows throughout his performance, and this certainly assists the story telling. It also encouraged the audience to be on Wood-Hill’s side as we warmed towards him. If only Wood-Hill was able to believe in himself as much as we do.

I am not positive that the performance requires the use of projection. At times it is useful to play a video, but I feel like for it to really earn its place in the show it needs to be utilised more. At the moment it seems like an addition for Wood-Hill to remember where he is in the set, and therefore seems unnecessary.

It’s always refreshing to see someone talk honestly and openly about hard times in their personal lives. I hear myself and other audience members resonating with many of the more emotional jokes, especially those concerning financial strain. I encourage Wood-Hill to delve even deeper into the darker, more emotive part of his journey as this can only improve the show further.

Framed with gambling and call-backs, Rhian-vested has been well written. It needs a little bit of tightening to make it punchier, but for a first showing it’s definitely a commendable performance. Over time and as Wood-Hill’s comfort with the material increases, this will be a standout show.

 

Rhian-vested is part of the 2018 Nelson Fringe Festival. To check out other shows and workshops, click here.

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