While watching the first series of Heavy Entertainment, it became immediately evident that comedian Nick Helm has been given a platform in which he has free reign to create whatever he wishes. This means that he can incorporate all of his skills into one half hour. In this sense, this new stand up/sketch-style show has enabled Helm to prove himself to any sceptic that he is incredibly multi-talented, with an obvious aptitude for not only comedy, but music, drama and poetry also.
Each episode sees Nick presents a show based loosely around a topic, such as Romance, War and Dreams. He does this with the help of his band, which is made up of Ben Ellis, Ross Power, Jamie Smith and dead-pan comedian David Trent, who is keen to share his hopes and fears with the audience, which has hilarious consequences. His ambitions contrast starkly with the bitter sweet comments of Helm in an interview-style segment, when asked what he dreamt about as a kid. Helm simply replies: “I just dreamt of being happier”. This comment is emblematic of the general semantics of the programme; behind the obvious comedy elements, there is an undeniable darkness present, which makes the whole affair all the more interesting.
On the surface, Nick Helm’s Heavy Entertainment may look like a bit of an angry, multi-modal shambles. Look closer, however, and you will notice so much more. Each and every element is highly crafted, which is made more obvious as the series progresses and certain aspects of the performance are repeated, and Helm successfully incorporates music, poetry and even dance into the whole proceedings, giving the show a cabaret feel. There are sarcastic rants, intelligent jokes and some honestly fantastic songs, as well as multiple tender and emotional moments.
Nick Helm is at the top of his game, presenting a comedy that is both thoughtful and riotously funny. This is true heavy entertainment.