“If the show isn’t good, at least you get to sit down for 45 minutes” is a brave way to start a stand up comedy show. But, luckily Nick Elleray doesn’t have to worry about handing in a poor performance as his relaxed storytelling transcends the usual stand up fare. Detailing his life in vivid, and hilarious detail about his overtly masculine childhood, Rolling Stones obsession, and foibles as he traverses modern living.
Early in the show Elleray explains how there’s a quiet rage inside him that has begun to seep into his daily life, and in Big Nick Energy you see it constantly bubbling under the surface. This isn’t to say that BNE feels directly confrontational or nasty, it’s more an internalised anger as elements of Elleray’s life and their effects go under the spotlight. It’s an hour of honest and hilarious comedy that reassured the audience their stresses or irritations are valid whilst laughing at the ridiculous nature of them. A difficult balance that he achieves easily.
The only moments that grind against the stream of consciousness storytelling is an occasional over reliance upon callback humour. When each new punchline hits harder and lasts longer than the previous, there is little need to diminish the impact of jokes by repeating them. It is shown in the audience reaction too which occasionally breaks the comedian’s flow in a jarring manner. This was predominantly in the latter portion of the show, and left a mildly disappointing end on a fantastic fringe experience.