Nick Helm: Dare to Dream, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
You don't have much choice but to get caught up in Nick Helm's mania. "You're delaying the fun!" he warns us, coercing us to punch the air for his rocky opening number. "Never stop dreaming/from the floor to the ceiling," he commands.
The burden of most of the audience participation falls on one willing participant who shares the stage with Helm for most of the performance, albeit laid on a lilo.
With songs and poems that are by turn edgy and affectionate, Helm once again builds his persona as a romantic: disconsolate and cynical at times and tender and hopeful at others. "Let's Get Married" is a tune that carries both extremes of sentiments, where shared activities are both exalted and inverted until they reach a sticky end.
As with his debut solo show last year, there is a mish-mash of elements here (some of which he says he forgot to put in, but that could be a device in itself) and the show doesn't add up to a finished article.
And although the sheer energy is still reverberating around your head as you leave, this is a show that sets itself a standard it just can't maintain. It is, however, well within touching distance. He should do as his debut show's title exhorted and keep digging for the gold.
To 29 August (0131 556 6550)
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