There are dick jokes a plenty in Nikki Britton’s One Small Step, but her show is no Puppetry of the Penis. Britton is one of the most skilled comics on the circuit – her timing is impeccable; her audience banter honed and her personality suggests brassy yet vulnerable.

She’s a feminist who loves sex… and admits it, but can’t take the inanity of dating apps, the visual site of male genitalia (hairy meat chandeliers is her especially evocative description) or societal expectations around single women.

One Small Step cleverly mixes forthright observational stand up with a narrative thread (a European holiday that doesn’t go quite as expected), all peppered with Britton's tight delivery and anecdotes about a mother-daughter trip to Vanuatu that also did not pan out as planned. The hour roars along at a steady pace. Nothing drags it down and Britton is in top form from go to woah.

Britton severely damaged her ankle when she fell off a train upon arrival in Italy and endured weeks of limping around a honeymoon hotel in Cinque Terre, befriending only a pigeon and a local old woman. It was one of those unfortunate but ultimately life-affirming experiences that gives her reams of material.

Without it, she wouldn’t have the scaffold of her show, so maybe the misdiagnosis from the chain-smoking Dr Guiseppe who called her a f***ing idiot was a blessing in disguise.

One Small Step blends the mundane and crude with larger life messages, both affirming and sobering. Never shying away from her disdain of self-help proclamations, Britton works all the material into an ultimately uplifting and high-laugh content show that bares some profound truths (especially about behaviour at airport baggage carousels.)

Accompanying holiday slides/snaps enhance the presentation and validate Britton’s stories. They are low-fi and effective, as is a leaf blower that an audience member points at her for windy-haired booty dancing.

There’s no shortcut to self-healing, but if you stay the long game, you reap rewards. So too in the comedy world – Britton has been doing her thing for many, steady years and One Small Step (which won recognition at the 2020 Adelaide Fringe) confirms a next-level status.

Event details

A Token Event
One Small Step
Nikki Britton

Venue: Cloak Room | Melbourne Town Hall, 100 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC
Dates: 25 March – 18 April 2021
Tickets: $29 – $25


Most read Melbourne reviews

  • Groundhog Day The Musical
    This is more than just a screen to stage relocation, this a heartfelt re-examination seeking, discovering and transposing essence.
  • Smash It | Circus Oz
    This kooky show is intergenerational mayhem at its finest, with cast members representing millennial, Gen Zs, Baby Boomers and everything in between.
  • Luzia | Cirque du Soleil
    Luzia is a jumble of imagery all wrapped up in spectacular environments that include a vertical waterfall raining down like a tapestry on a loom and a plunge pool for an aerialist to thrash in and out of.
  • Wicked – The Musical
    Extraordinary in scale and spectacle, Wicked is classic big budget musical gorgeousness, but froth and bubble aside, it’s also laced with depth in its narrative.
  • Hamlet | Sheoak Productions
    How do you make Shakespeare’s traitorous drama Hamlet, funny?

More from this author

  • Cirque Bon Bon
    The speciality acts are first rate and the quartet of dancers intermingled through the act...
  • The Great Moscow Circus Extreme
    With its tent compound of concession stands, carnival games and intimate seating area, it...
  • Famous | NICA
    The circus skills are high and shine brightly, especially when dramatic ideas are sometime...
  • Club Vegas The Spectacle
    Club Vegas is a whole lot of everything as it showcases style over substance in its crowded...
  • 360 All Stars
    360 All Stars is a great concept and fun way to spend an hour.

Now playing Melbourne