Reviewed By Peter Newling
Charlie came to a lot of people’s attention when he took out the Best Newcomer Award at the 2021 MICF, for his show Cockatiel – about ‘finding his flock’ within the gay and comedy communities. In constructing the (always difficult) follow-up show, Charlie has retained a number of the themes which have worked well for him in the past, as well as retaining his trademark mixture of stand-up, music (he can really sing) and drama-school shenanigans.
It’s Giving Char still focuses on belonging – but this time it is centred around growing older. With the big 3-0 looming (he will achieve that milestone during this year’s festival), he finds himself caught between no longer fitting in with the younger set, but also having nothing in common with the next age group up. He explores concepts around the importance of legacy, and evolving physically, psychologically and socially.
Charlie is an engaging performer. He immediately wins his audience over with charm and boundless enthusiasm. Proud of his degree in performance arts, he uses his stage experience to great effect. The set is aided by a terrific slide show, an inexhaustible array of pop culture references (he went down some very odd rabbit-holes during lockdowns), and some very cleverly (re)written songs.
I got the feeling that some of the material for this show, like Charlie, is still evolving and finding its place. But there’s certainly enough great stuff there to make up a very satisfying hour of comedy.
A last minute change of venue saw this show promoted to a Town Hall space. I think we’ll be seeing Charlie play high profile venues for quite some time into the future.
Charlie Lewin – It’s Giving Char is playing March 31 to April 10 at The Flag Room, Melbourne Town Hall