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Nick Helm: Nobody Likes Me, Edinburgh Preview

| Comedy, Festivals, Music | 11/08/2016

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In our fifth Edinburgh Fringe preview, Ian Cater rejoices at news that Nick Helm is putting in an appearance at The Pleasance Courtyard for one-night-only on Saturday 20th August. 

The work in progress show called Nobody Likes Me – which Helm feared wouldn’t happen until recently – caps off a fantastic year in which he’s been nominated for a BAFTA, released a second studio album (reviewed here), performed a packed-out music gig at the Kentish Town Forum and – only this month – filmed a third series of the hit BBC Three comedy, Uncle.

When I met up with Nick Helm back in February, he was a bit peeved that the filming schedule for Uncle meant he’d be unable to perform at this year’s Fringe – only the third he’d missed since 1997.

“I’m disappointed about that,” he told me, especially because it was due to the curricular needs of his co-star, Elliot Speller-Gillott, and the production company’s (admittedly sound) financial reasons.  “The reason why we’re filming in the summer is because we can get the kid cheap.  Never mind about my career,” he grumbled, rolling his eyes in mock disgust.

226x332_colour-0268Helm’s comments were tongue-in-cheek of course.  He readily admits that, although he prefers performing his own material, the superb BBC Three series has worked wonders for his profile.  Working alongside cast members such as Daisy Haggard, Esther Smith and Brett Goldstein must also be a real blast – as apparently confirmed by Helm’s ‘pic-a-day’ twitter updates during filming.

But nothing gives him a buzz quite like stand-up – especially his own unique blend of comedy and music which carries so much risk because “it really relies on the audience going with it”.  So it comes as a relief that Helm’s managed to fit a show into his timetable on Saturday 20th August – both to himself and his growing legion of fans.

At present, its content and theme remain unknown, but the blurb Helm’s released suggests he’ll be at his classic best: at times, nearly as confrontational with his audience as fellow Fringer Bill Burr; at other times, as vulnerable as it’s possible to appear on-stage without being carted off in a straightjacket and gurney.

3mp-07357-e1460486895489Riffing on his put-on unprofessionalism and mock disdain for the audience, Helm says that he’s doing the show “for you desperate A-holes so [I] can remind you that the Edinburgh Festival isn’t all about being ‘good’ and ‘slick’ and ‘relevant’, but sometimes it’s fine to just be a prick.”

He then adds a plea for people to come along “as I don’t know if you’ve ever had to cancel a gig due to low attendance, but there’s something about the sad, sad look of disappointment in the eyes of the venue staff that will haunt you till your dying day.”

There’s very little chance of that.  Nobody Likes Him?  The packed venue that surely awaits on Saturday week suggests otherwise.

Nick Helm is performing Nobody Likes Me at 16.00 on Saturday 20th August at The Pleasance Courtyard.  Get your tickets here.  For more information on Nick’s work, head to his official website or follow him on Twitter @TheNickHelm.

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