Somewhere Beneath It All, A Small Fire Burns Still

Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14)

3-29 August (not 15 August)

Start time 12:00

Running time 60 minutes

Tickets £6 - £10

Online Bookings:
Venue | Fringe | Comedy Festival

Phone Bookings:
Venue 0131 622 6552
Fringe 0131 226 0000

Phil Nichol Official Website

Nichol attacks his material with all the restraint of a Tasmanian Devil in a foghorn factory.

The Times

Nichol is awesomely good, bringing danger with him to the stage like a young Jack Nicholson.

The Scotsman

Scotsman Fringe First Award Winner 2011

Phil Nichol performs the world premiere of Dave Florez’s darkly comic, twisted and powerful theatrical Monologue. Directed by triple Fringe First winner, Hannah Eidinow.

Join Kevin at his local cafe and take a surreal journey into his inner world from childhood trauma to his obsession with beautiful waitress, Daina. Kevin’s warped worldview collides with reality as he tries to explain sex, love and longing but gets lost along the way. An absurdist monologue with more twists than the back road from Slough to Reading.

Writer Dave Florez has been a Royal Court Young Writer since 2000. His short play, Mean Steal, was produced as part of the Shortcuts Through The Carnival festival at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs in 2001. His first full-length play, Afterbirth, was directed by Deborah Paige at the Arcola Theatre in 2005. Dave has had readings with the Caird Company and Nabokov Theatre Company. His short play, 100% Bullet Proof, had a joint reading at both the Soho Theatre and the Liverpool Everyman in March 2005.

Phil Nichol is an award-winning comedian, actor, producer, presenter, writer and musician. Since winning the Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2006 he has continued to prove his abilities. His assured theatrical work has won critical acclaim and multiple award nominations and he won The Stage Acting Excellence award in 2005. Phil headlines all the major comedy clubs around the country and is also heavily involved as a resident host in Old Rope a new material night which runs in London and Brighton.


Latest news

  • Somewhere Beneath It All gets 4 stars from One4Review August 27, 2011

    ‘Nichol is a top class actor too, and anyone coming to see this many layered production will be able to testify too.’

    Read the full review here.

  • 4 Stars for Somewhere Beneath It All from Metro August 26, 2011

    Hard-hitting drama burns bright

    The full review is below as it is not yet available online.

    Appearances can be deceptive. This blackly humorous monologue written by Dave Florez, a talented graduate of the Royal Court’s Young Writers’ Programme, begins as a stream of consciousness of a young man called Kevin (Phil Nichol), who is sitting in a London cafe and imagining lurid sexual acts with the pretty Lithuanian waitress. Alas, Kevin is too shy to ask out Daina.
    ‘I retreat to the toilets like a French soldier,’ he tells us shame-faced, having already shared salacious images that take root in his mind every time she flashes a friendly smile or brushes past his table.

    Kevin is brash and self-loathing, a volatile combination that could seriously alienate us as an audience. Then without warning, Nichol sends a wrecking ball through the fourth wall. ‘What a load of crap,’ he sneers, pouring scorn on the lyrical words he has just been spouting.

    Fantasy and reality dance hand in hand for the rest of the show as Nichol, playing a heightened version of himself, draws attention to his meagre stage props (‘This is an extended metaphor for life and the extent of my budget’) and becomes increasingly vociferous and abusive about Jews, women and the pink pound. ‘What have the gays given us?’ he sneers. ‘Theatre and Aids. No, I’m joking. They also gave us cabaret.’

    He then reveals the sobering truth about his character, a Scottish lad called Kevin MacDonald, delivered in the form of ‘the compulsory PowerPoint presentation’. Nichols is utterly fearless and director Hannah Eidinow guides us through the shifts in tone, peeling back the layers of Florez’s script that muddies fact and fiction beyond recognition.

    Damon Smith

  • 5 stars for Somewhere Beneath It All from Across the Arts August 25, 2011

    ‘What it is, in the end, is a tour de force and a brilliant reminder or how excellent of a performer Nichol is.’

    Read the full review here.

  • Phil Nichol interviewed for The Stage podcast August 20, 2011

    You can listen to comedian Phil Nichol talk about Somewhere Beneath It All on this podcast.

  • Somewhere Beneath gets four stars from Edinburgh Festivals Magazine August 18, 2011

    ‘This show is expertly executed.’

    Read the full review here.

  • Four stars for Somewhere Beneath It All from Fest Mag August 15, 2011

    ‘Engaging and unpredictable’

    Read the full review here.

  • 5 Stars for Somewhere Beneath It All from August 12, 2011

    “Clever stuff and expertly executed in Hannah Eidinow’s production.”

    Read the full review at

  • SCOTSMAN FRINGE FIRST AWARD for Somewhere Beneath... August 11, 2011

    Congratulations to performer Phil Nichol, writer Dave Florez and director Hannah Eidinow on winning a Scotsman Fringe First award for Somewhere Beneath It All, A Small Fire Burns Still.

    This exclusive award recognises the best new drama at the Fringe and is a huge accolade for any production that wins it.

    We’ll post photos later of the awards ceremony on Friday morning.

  • Four Stars from The Scotsman for Somewhere Beneath August 11, 2011

    The link isn’t available online yet but we’ve put the full review below.

    4 Stars

    Phil Nichol launches this rapid-fire one-man show with a description which confuses the ordering of dessert in the local caff with his doing something unspeakable to the pretty Lithuanian waitress. Nichol plays Kevin, a man who wilfully and habitually confuses reality with fantasy.
    For the next 40 minutes or so, this twisted, funny and occasionally puzzling monologue circles around Kevin’s infatuation with Daina. But Dave Florez’s script is so lithe it springs off in all directions, to be surreal, or rude, or incline towards a big issue like fate or family.
    Nichol, directed by triple Fringe First winner Hannah Eidinow, is more than able to keep pace with it. He shapes a character who is complex and full of contradictions, a coiled spring of repressed energy, if not entirely likeable then at least completely believable.
    Then Nichol stops. He says he can’t keep up this “sentimental claptrap”. And suddenly, what we have in front of us is Perrier Award-winning stand-up Phil Nichol, sharp-tongued and sarky, undermining both his show and his audience: why have we come to listen to this bullshit? We should all f*** off.
    You may indeed feel like taking him at his word at this point. Don’t. Nichol is about to undercut things again in a way which will change how you feel about everything you’ve heard so far. It would spoil it if I told you how.
    Somewhere Beneath It All… leaves us with more questions than answers. Is it an inspirational story with a poetic title, or a clever fiction which shows us how easily we are manipulated? Either way, this a sharp, inventive piece of theatre, impeccably delivered

  • Five stars for Somewhere Beneath It All from August 10, 2011

    “Florez blends Nichol’s personal facts and fictions in a perfect showcase for this engaging performer’s talents.”

    Read the full review here.

  • All tickets 241 Monday & Tuesday August 8, 2011

    All Festival Highlights shows are participating in the 241 promotion today and tomorrow where you can get two tickets for the price of one. The perfect excuse to check out twice as many shows!

    The only exception to this is Lockerbie: Unfinished Business, as it is only doing one performance, today at 4pm at St John’s Church on Princes Street. Tickets are still available and the show will be followed by a panel discussion with guests including Jim Swire and Robert Black.

  • The Scotsman interviews Phil Nichol August 7, 2011

    A fascinating interview by Kate Copstick with Phil Nichol, star of ‘Somewhere Beneath…’ as part of The Scotsman first Fringe supplement.

    “Phil Nichol is the most generous of men, undoubtedly in part because he is that happiest of beings: a man doing what he loves for its own sake”.


  • Somewhere Beneath is The List's Theatre Pick July 22, 2011

    “Edinburgh Comedy Award alumnus and founder of the Comedians’ Theatre Company Phil Nichol dons his thesp hat to perform a monologue by Dave Florez. The piece focuses on a bizarre love triangle while exploring the need for forgiveness in an unrelenting world.” Find out what else they picked here.

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