Christianity and Me – Nick Dixon
Just the Tonic at the Mash House
Star Rating: *****
Monkey Barrel Comedy – Venue 515
37 Guthrie Street, Edinburgh EH1 1QR
Edinburgh Fringe Review Date: 10th August 2019
2nd – 24th August 2019, 19:15pm (60 minutes). Age category: 14+. Tickets and information £5 Advance or Pay what you can on the night.
We all have a cross to bear. Nick Dixon wears his proudly as one of the few “out” Christian comedians. In case anyone was in any doubt, in his current offering he is performing the first pro-Christianity comedy show to ever appear at the Edinburgh Fringe this August.
Considering the UK is considered to be majority Christian (51%), non-believers (41%), with the next largest faith group being quite some distance away, Muslim (2.5%) it’s quite an odd contradiction that in his mind he perceives himself to be “doing something so controversial and shameful, he will be ridiculed and hated by the comedy community, his family, and most of the country… With the country divided, relations between men and women breaking down and mental health issues on the rise, Nick wonders whether a return to the principles of Christianity is what the country needs.”
The clarity to bring this vision to life was inspired by a dream he had which compelled him to write a show exploring his Christian faith. Despite falling church attendances and rising numbers of non-believers, the UK is still, as mentioned, a majority Christian nation, yet you’d be hard pressed to find evidence of that in Edinburgh despite it purporting to have more churches than any other town or city in the UK. I’ve found much of this year’s festival to be quite dark in terms of the language and material used by a a vast number of comedians, with many swearing like it’s going out of fashion and/or focusing on the more vulgar aspects of life. I’m not saying all shows are like that, more that many comedian’s don’t hesitate to let fly with profanity (whether a little or frequent uses of), which they would easily steer clear of on the radio, most TV shows or in any press articles they get commissioned to write. Not withstanding broadcasting regulations which they choose to abide by, that wouldn’t even happen if the comedian operated from a basis of core values that made regulatory obligations superfluous.
Christianity and Me is a refreshingly brilliant antidote to the anti-Christianity, atheist, agnostic negativity that’s been running amok in Edinburgh this year and for many years. Nick Dixon is positive, uplifting, extremely funny and unashamedly Christian. Though faith is the clear running theme of the show, he comes across as very down to earth, regular guy, who actually isn’t trying to ram faith down people’s mouth or try and convert people. He simply wants to be “the best comedian in the world” whilst remaining true to his faith.
He demonstrates that you can be on top of your game and give an audience a great night’s entertainment without resorting to swearing or material of a sexually vulgar nature. That doesn’t mean his comedy is anodyne in any way, shape or form. Far from it. His set covers relationships, dating, sex, celibacy and popular culture such as Love Island. The difference is he’ll discuss and joke about it, humourously highlighting his own stance on the hot topics of the day. The story about coming out to his dad … as Christian was brilliant.
I liked his quick wittedness, on display when frequently bantering with the two Paul’s in the audience at this show, one sat at the front, another at the back. Backseat Paul was quite a character and the two hit it off together so to speak when bantering about Christian dating apps and the like. That there were two Paul’s in was ironic as St. Paul is said to have “the greatest influence on Christianity. In fact, both Jesus and Paul seem to have equally contributed to Christianity. Paul elevated the status of Christian church as the body of Christ and the world outside as under His judgment. Paul’s works contain the first written account of what it means to be a Christian and thus, the Christian spirituality.”
Dixon described Christianity as being a bit like Manchester United. Once hugely popular and loved by all, now many seem to revel in trying to knock them off their perch.
Although many comedians might be anti-Christianity, when Dixon asked if there were any Christian’s present, that got one of the loudest cheers of the night. Maybe they’re not quite so unpopular after all.
© Tiemo Talk of the Town
- Why I’m Coming out as a Christian on stage at the Edinburgh Fringe – Premier Christian Radio – 13th August 2019
- Edinburgh Fringe 2019 reviews – August 2019
- St Paul the Apostle – Encyclopedia Britannica