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Anna Nicholson: Get Happy - Adelaide Fringe Review

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by Thomas Day (subscribe)
I am an Adelaide based writer, passionate about sharing fun and interesting experiences, with a particular focus on live theatre.
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Fringe audiences Get Happy with Anna Nicholson
Adelaide Fringe 2020 logo

presented by Anna Nicholson

To receive an Adelaide Fringe Weekly Award is no easy feat, and only a few can boast about winning one. However, those who do win an award have worked tirelessly to present the award-winning show, and therefore are most deserving. Such is the case for British comedian Anna Nicholson, who last year worked tirelessly to present her Adelaide Fringe show Woman of The Year, which won her the weekly award for Best Comedy Show. This year, Nicholson returns with her brand new show Get Happy, and it is another show which shows evidence of tireless hard work, and it wouldn't come as a surprise if it was another award-winning show, and it is one which is well-structured and entertaining and gives the perfect opportunity for one to get happy.

Anna Nicholson, Adelaide Fringe 2020, Get Happy
In this new show, through a series of comedic monologues and parodies of popular songs (with live piano accompaniment from Bobby), we meet three returning characters from Woman of the Year: Bianca, the self(ie)-obsessed social influencer and Instagrammer and self-confessed inspirer, motivator and professional hotty; Ruth, an overly competitive and exuberant vicar; and Shirley, a cheeky and mischievous granny. We are also introduced to a brand new character Coco, an awkward hippy who runs a peace and well-being retreat. Each of these characters has one thing in common: they are all on their own pursuit of happiness, each seeking happiness in a different way.

Each character has entirely new dialogue and clever and hilarious songs, with the dialogue of each character being entertaining and well-written, and that, while humorous, is also thought-provoking and relevant to the culture of today. Nicholson develops each of her characters well and establishes a clear difference between each, with different accents, inflexions, facial expressions, mannerisms and physicality, and small costume changes. Though these changes are fast, Nicholson utilises humorous pieces of spoken dialogue from unseen characters during these changes, to ensure that the performance continues to flow smoothly, and that the comedy continues even when she is not on stage.

With regards to Nicholson as a performer, from the moment she welcomes the audience to her show, she is confident and quickly develops an excellent rapport with her audience, displaying a boundless and contagious energy which leaves it impossible for one to not smile and be filled with complete joy. She also confidently interacts with her audience several times throughout the performance and has an incredible ability to improvise with them, even lightheartedly making particular mention of several latecomers for the performance reviewed (late-comers be warned).

There is no denying that though what we learn of each character's pursuit of happiness, is fictional, it is easy to recognise their pursuit as it relates to our own lives, or those we know. We each seek to pursue happiness in our own ways, whether that be through drugs, alcohol, close friendships, music, physical touch, and sometimes these ways can result in destructive consequences which ruin our lives. However, one of the easiest and safest ways to achieve happiness is to see Nicholson's show, because it is guaranteed to leave one feeling much happier than before the performance began. Nicholson makes it so easy to Get Happy, and leave feeling positive, which ultimately would reduce anything negative. Even if it be for just an hour, Nicholson allows one to forget about the troubles of the world and enjoy having a laugh, because laughter is the best medicine.

Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5).

Get Happy continues at the Adelaide Fringe until March 5, before a season at Melbourne Comedy Festival from March 24-29. Tickets for this show can be purchased here.
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Why? to experience an hilarious character comedy show
When: nightly at 7pm
Phone: 1300 621 255 (FringeTIX)
Where: Basement Bar at Hotel Richmond, 128 Rundle Mall, Adelaide, SA, 5000
Cost: BankSA Cardholder $17.25, Concession $18, Full Price $22
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