Always Be Comedy: The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2018
Nick Helm’s Xmas F*ck Fest 4: Pleasance Theatre, Islington, London, 2018
Always Be Comedy (2 shows): The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2019
Regular favourite Nick Helm appeared to Always Be Comedy in April 2018 for a work-in-progress headline set which did not disappoint. Helm’s on-stage act is a hard-hitting yet endearing beast who intimidates his audience but the joke is always on him. The new work-in-progress was mostly delivered from standing on a table and featured a song that had to be recited to perfection before attempting to carry on with the rest of the set. This worked brilliantly ranting at the audience for getting the lyrics wrong. His targeting of me crying with laughter at him in the row was truly inspired and hilarious. The more aggressive and insulting he was to me, the more I laughed. As ever, the combination of helplessness and despair he projected on stage was an absolute joy to watch.
In December 2018, I returned for a second year to Nick’s Helm’s Xmas F*ck Fest 4, his very popular charity show at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington. As ever, fuelled by aggression, frustration and anger, he attempted to take charge of the night which featured top comedy acts, anarchic Christmas games and songs. One inspired game involved a number of the audience on stage each drinking from a bottle of Advocaat and being asked whether they like it or not. The drinking of this from a foil mice pie cup is a show tradition known as the Christmas Oyster and became a deal for Helm’s admittance for not liking eggs (from which Advocaat is made) and him being prepared to try it. Self-penned rock songs performed by Helm and his band The Helm-ettes were belted out at regular intervals such as One Man Mega Myth, Love Ya Tonight and (You Gotta) Believe In Yourself which the audience loved (incidentally, his albums that I bought for Christmas and my friend has on her playlist are available on ITunes or through his website). For an all-out riotous evening, this annual treat is the very best.
Helm returned to Always Be Comedy again in May and June 2019 for a new work-in-progress set in practice for the Edinburgh Fringe. It was great to see him back gigging with his menacing style where the joke is always on him. He was very funny delivering one-line jokes from his phone and expanding his hilarious stories of the tragic persona. He is a true original and terrific powerhouse of a comedian.