Jamaican Princess
Nicholas Capper @ Gluttony – The Piglet
10:10pm, Wed 5 Mar 2014
I first saw Nick Capper during a Rhino Room Late Show last year, and his material was incredible: in front of a drunken Late Show crowd, he managed to win friends with desert-dry and depressed self-deprecation, coupled with a delivery that positively revelled in the power of his pauses. Unfortunately, when I went to see his show there was a tiny “crowd”, and – whilst I could still see the quality of the material – the experience was… well, less wonderful.
But, as I said at the time, I hoped that he’d return to Adelaide. And he did. So I bought a ticket. And a few other people bought tickets too. And some people, who I suspect don’t really go to a lot of comedy shows, got given freebies by Capper as we waited for The Piglet to get reset.
So – Nick Capper had a crowd. But what he didn’t have was the darkness that made his efforts last year so memorable.
Sure, there were stories about an ice-smoking girlfriend: “[ice is the] best thing ever”, she had said, leading to a little bit of self-deprecation that hinted at glories of old. But that was the undeniable highlight of the show. The crowd singalong to his “hit” song Chubby Wubby? Dressing someone up as ramen? Inexplicably trying to milk the “Bacon’s not Jamaican” couplet for (undeserved) laughs? Sure: I smiled, I laughed, but… it was tough going.
Look, after Capper smashed it at the Late Show last year, I’ve been really looking forward to seeing his work flourish. But his inability to maintain momentum in either of the two full shows I’ve seen him perform leaves me frustrated. Because I remember a chap whose comedy was dark and personal, who knew how to pace his delivery… who gave us peals of laughter from his misery. This newer, happier, bright-as-a-button Nick Capper? I’m not sure I like him very much.
And it feels awful to want to revel in someone’s drama (doubly so when I discovered that he’d quoted this blog for his flyers)… but Jamaican Princess was a real let-down for me. Maybe Capper can slay a big crowd of comedy-lovers who are up for it, but on the evidence of this performance he’s going to struggle with the less adventurous audience.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 5, 2014