You are browsing our archive of past reviews. Shows often evolve and develop as time goes on, so the views expressed here may not be an accurate reflection of current productions.

There are not enough words to aptly sum up what Nicole Henriksen's show is, so I won't even try and instead give you just one. In short: she is absolutely nuts.

Dressed in a practical half-cape, Henriksen mixes grand theatrical gesticulations with oddball stand-up, poetry, music and arthouse cinema - she covers a lot of ground. She starts as she means to go on, in a quite literal sense, by clambering over her audience to get to the front in order to begin the show. The tone is set for an intimate and determined spiral into chaos. The tiny, stuffy space can barely contain Henriksen's energy; so much so that throughout the performance she dives out of the room for costume changes.

Henriksen can't stand still for a minute before she is off exploring her audience, getting up close, leaning across laps, whispering into ears, rambling about white boys and coffee.  We get glimpses of Henriksen's surreal mind, worked out through deliberately obscure observations – her deranged popstar character has everyone singing along and even doing dance moves. An undead character encourages us to join a cult, and Death often rears its head before being laughed away.  The conflict between these three characters both explores a dark side to Henriksen, and also ties the show up neatly.

'Neat' isn't a word you'd use to describe the performance style, but it's the rough edges and haphazardness that keep everyone watching. Henriksen draws us in, and the theatrical spectacle that's taking place doesn't so much tear down the fourth that wall as actively take a sledgehammer to it. About half of the show happens on stage; the rest is Henriksen exploring the space, invading boundaries.

It's all so intensely delivered that you could almost believe with you were witnessing the breakdown of a spurned West End actor, forced to toil away her days in dark rooms, with cocktails of mental stimulants to fill the empty void. And that intense energy is a large part of what makes the act so entertaining. I mean, I hope it's an act... but it's good that if she has completely lost it, at least she's done something spectacular in the process.