Rhys and Joel’s Family Christmas

Rhys Nicholson and Joel Creasey. Enmore Theatre. 1 Dec, 2023

Reviewed : December 1, 2023

Photo : supplied

Fans, families, fun seekers, followers – gay and straight –  they filled the Enmore, downstairs and in the balcony! Just for a couple of comedians? Well, yes! Nicholson and Creasey, alone and together, have a wide appeal. In person, on TV, on the radio, they reach across generations and genders, so it’s not surprising that their “Family Christmas” shows attract a large, eclectic crowd.

Though I think I was the oldest in the audience, the over 60s were well represented in that crowd, both straight and gay! Not all ‘oldies’ are as conservative as many think! We grew up with rock and roll, the beat generation, the flower people, the protesters, Hair, Oh Calcutta and Graham Kennedy! (Look them up! They often caused more of a ruckus than a few jokes do today!)

Photo : supplied

Nicholson and Creasey know their audiences. Know who to ‘knock’, what topical stories will get a laugh from their audiences, and where to draw the line. So it was no wonder that they lampooned other audiences (what happened to the show in Wollongong guys?), Australian TV’s attitude to gay creators, and references to news stories of 2023: “If you want to spice it up this Xmas, serve a Beef Wellington”.

Photos : websites

Of course they joshed each other about their exploits over the year, especially Rhys’s wedding, from the stag party (in Adelaide?) to the number of guests … “The Project had trouble booking a comedian that night!” … to the ceremony at the Enmore theatre itself.

Their improvised banter was interspersed with guest performers including comedians Nikki Britton and Jenny Tian. Georgia Mooney sang and played her dulcimer: “This is a dulcimer. I won it in a raffle … I wanted the meat tray!) and Brendan Maclean, with his guitar and his incredible voice.

Photo : supplied

There was audience involvement of course. Two volunteers, one very keen, one not quite so zealous, raced to complete a task including wrapping up a sponge window cleaner. Another two, both very agile, danced and voice synched!

Hiding in the “secret Santa Sack” was none other than Osher Günsberg! Apparently a real surprise, this threw both Creasey and Nicholson, momentarily, but Günsberg gallantly ‘helped’ them over the ‘shock’ and the three batted off each other cleverly.

A night of improvised chat, comic fun and song.  A good way to start the run up to December 25!

First published in Stage Whispers magazine