Review: Phil Nichol: Your Wrong, The Basement, York, November 9

PHIL Nichol’s show comes at you thick and fast. There’s a refreshing lack of pre-amble to his material: Nichol hops on the stage and suddenly he’s off, rattling through his account of a Facebook argument with this infectious enthusiasm and a killer runner of a punchline. Alacrity feels too clean-cut to describe Your Wrong, although it does capture some of the readiness with which we as the audience enter into Nichol’s saga of faith, miracles and tangible reality- and how regardless of where you place your opinions, you can never be quite sure of what makes the world turn.

Nichol’s show diverges from traditional stand-up, melding with storytelling to create a set that delivers on rapid-fire jokes and longer-story beats in equal measure. His material about his marriage (and, spoilers, its breakdown) harks back to Nichol’s 2015 show but here it’s built within the larger context of his upbringing, giving the material a truly rooted feel. It’s hilarious, sure, but by tying all of his major life moments together, Nichol’s brought the gravity into focus on why these things happen, good or bad.

That’s not to say Your Wrong feels like anything but a comedy show. And what a comedy show: it’s filled with brilliant gut-punches of gags, all woven into the larger story by Nichol’s ceaseless energy. His is a frenetic presence on the stage, jumping between physicalities, accents, ages in his life: it offsets the overall story wonderfully. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

Louise Jones