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Adelaide Fringe 2013

I’m not pale, I’m dead

Lydia Nicholson

Genre: Mainstream Theatre

Venue: The Runt – Gluttony, Rymill Park, Corner of East Terrace and Rundle Street, Adelaide,


Low Down

Lydia is a ghost that takes advantage of her momentary opaqueness to warn her audience about death and being a ghost, and life—seize the day, seize the opportunities, have no regrets. This one-woman comedy is witty, entertaining, expressive, and thought provoking. An interesting premise of what it must be like from the ‘other’ side with a clever script to drive the story.


Life, death, romance, fashion, psychics…Lydia Nicholson covers it all in this one-woman show where she is a ghost who happens to be visible to her audience for a short period of time. She seizes the opportunity to advise her viewers about what to expect in the afterlife but also imposes on them the importance of cherishing the present with their loved ones and taking chances that they may never get again. Death is a deep subject but this performance had tears of laughter rolling down faces as Nicholson recounts entertaining anecdotes from her life and her observations of human behaviour.

The script was a series of witty and nostalgic stories—some bordering on ramblings, others that thrilled the audience from start to end—all of which related back to the themes of opportunity and seizing the moment. There were a few unexpected ‘calls’ from mediums channelling Lydia’s ghost and these gave a unique insight into human behaviour and what it must be like from the other side. Although there is no explicit explanation about how she became a ghost, Lydia tells poignant stories of her parents and close friends that allow the audience to piece the story together.

Nicholson gave a flawless performance, always staying true to character, occasionally approaching the audience directly with questions and suggestions. She took command of the small stage and was enthusiastic in her performance. The undersized venue undermined Nicholson’s potential and opportunities to move more freely, which was the only let down of the performance.

Overall I’m not pale, I’m dead is a clever way of looking at human behaviour, interactions and how to live life without regret. Nicholson has turned a dark subject into a light-hearted entertaining performance without compromising the drama, philosophy, and perceptiveness.