Nigel Charnock, The Second Coming

Review in Issue 7-4 | Winter 1995

Nigel Charnock returned to The Drill Hall last October with the culmination of his more recent exploits into solo work. This unbelievably energetic performer presented an amalgamation of his three previous shows – Resurrection, Original Sin, and Hell Bent – with a brief glimpse of new material to gel the whole. As ever, Nigel was prepared to push every performance ethic to its extreme – talking and providing a running commentary on some of his dance sequences; ploughing through brutally honest and cleverly written text whilst presenting strong singing skills in his playing of the desperately lonely cabaret singer. If you have seen his previous solo shows then it is unlikely you will be surprised or shocked by his antics, but will not fail to be endeared to such a charismatic and open performer.

My only criticism of the show is that the movement vocabulary in particular now appeared to be somewhat restricted – high kicks; debunking cliched ballet moves; pseudo-mimetic sequences to accompany rapidly delivered poetry. Equally, the personal and emotional pain evident in previous performances struggled to emerge. In a section from Hell Bent where the desperately lonely male attempts to seduce a dummy (bearing an undoubtedly deliberate facial resemblance to the performer himself), one's initial amusement is soon quashed by the pathetic image of a lonely man in a desperate situation.

However, transposed into this latest show, one fails to appreciate this so fully and instead is left more disappointed. That said, one cannot deny he is an incredible performer of great skill, courage and (yes) sensitivity, and one must, therefore, always see and admire his work.

This article in the magazine

Issue 7-4
p. 26