There’s a nice contrast upon entering the room in which Chelsea Birkby is performing at this year’s Fringe.
As you plonk yourself down on what appear to be old church pews, the sounds of Cardi B and OPM’s Heaven is a Halfpipe reverberate on the speakers.
It’s fitting as Birkby is, with this show, trying out a new persona. For too long she’s been nice – now it’s time to embrace the dark side.
In what is a terrific debut show, she draws you into her world with ease with tales of her childhood and the heady days of university, before straying into more serious waters and covering her bipolar diagnosis and the inappropriate advances of a family friend / therapist.
Packed with gags at a great hit rate, even in the more serious moments, this is an assured debut from a performer who is surely destined for the top.
Perhaps her only failure is that Nice Chelsea is undoubtedly here to stay as the audience left the (sweltering) room charmed by a real star in the making.
With top notch references, a great stage presence and a brilliantly executed show, Birkby will no doubt soon be playing to bigger crowds and bigger rooms and it’ll be well deserved.
Chelsea Birkby: No More Mr Nice Chelsea, Just the Tonic at The Caves, until August 28 (excl 16)
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