Bec Charlwood : Dirty Girl

By Nick Bugeja

As soon as Bec Charlwood took to the stage, there was little doubt that the crowd was in for an interesting ride. In the opening stages, she jumped, twerked and danced to Christina Aguilera’s ‘Dirty’ to kick things off, before pointing to the inappropriateness of the show’s early start time of 5pm – an hour when the elderly are typically tucking into their dinner for the night.

One could hardly disagree, considering that many of Charlwood’s jokes revolved around salacious topics such as sex toys, sexually transmitted illnesses, visiting the gynaecologist, and her mother’s sexual appetite. Such was the hilarity of Charlwood’s delivery that the mood remained undimmed by the jarring time. And, of course, Charlwood doesn’t disappoint: her show certainly lives up to its suggestive title.

Dirty Girl doesn’t have a rigid structure or a central narrative; it is composed of discrete stories from Charlwood’s own experiences. None of them flopped from a comic perspective, while the longer, drawn-out ones were the more successful. In particular, the parts dealing with the generational rifts between baby boomer and millennial women were both hilarious and socially cutting.

On the comedy scene for over six years now, Charlwood was evidently at home on the stage. She exuded confidence, yet retained her sense of self-awareness – a fine balance many comedians fail to strike. That certainly bodes well for her career, and it is hard to not see her continuing to carve out an audience for her explicitly sexual, expletive-laden comedy.

Dirty Girl is showing at the Westin until 4 April. Tickets are available here:

3 Little Gigs

By Lisa Clark 3 Little Gigs review

3 Little Gigs is like a plate of hors d’oeuvres before a big name dish at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It’s a show that has been running for several years early in the evening so you can check out a trio of young talented new comers, have some dinner then see a favourite.

The performers doing 3 Little Gigs, Nick O’Connell, Bec Charlwood and Rhi Down, are all young comedians who’ve only being hitting stages for a few years but have all been RAW finalists and are from far flung parts of Australia. They are all doing straight stand up with no bells and whistles with a theme about younger generation’s openness about their sexuality and frankness about pornography.

Nick o’Connell, originally from Adelaide but now settled in Melbourne, has stories of travel and of his experience as a History teacher, especially Catholic schools. He has a pleasant gentle style with some disturbing and dark notes, such as revealing that he hates kids and when discussing dating he declares that he’s a “Weapon on the tinnies” and “Mad Dog’s Arrived”, I’m hoping he’s using these ironically, but it is a bit hard to tell.

Bec Charlwood from Perth is dry in her delivery and very confident on stage. She talked about porn and sexuality then about how liberating it is to be a woman talking about these erstwhile taboo topics.

Nerdy and somewhat gothy, Rhi Down is from Brisbane and as well as talking about her sexlife Rhi keeps pet rats that she refers to as her ratbabies. Confident and bubbly she has a genuine natural funniness that will mature well.

All three performers have what it takes to entertain an audience, they are all confident, good storytellers and can find laughs in every day things.  Like most of our best comedians they are beginning by dipping their toes into the Festival circuit to exhibit their work on a shared bill and will take time to mature before they are ready for a solo show.

When strangers or people at work ask what they should see at MICF, I always suggest they pick someone they like from TV or radio who will now doubt be a sure thing, then pick someone they don’t know at all. This is a great little show to see new comedians that you will want to keep an eye on in the future.

3 Little Gigs is on at The Imperial Hotel

For tickets and further information go to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival website: