2013 Adelaide Fringe Review - Charles Barrington in One Character or Less

2013 Adelaide Fringe Review - Charles Barrington in One Character or Less
The Tuxedo Cat until 2 March

I can't help thinking that Adelaide punters are constantly missing a trick with Charles Barrington.  I have seen his last couple of shows here and the audiences have been - I am sure Mr Barrington won't mind me saying this - poor.  Not in terms of quality, of course (indeed, when I have been there the shows have been enthusiastically received), but certainly in terms of quantity.  I may be under a misapprehension here, and on nights when I haven't been in the house has been full, but it seems that Adelaide theatre-goers are depriving themselves of the real treat that is Anthony Rogers' delightful comic creation.

Part esoteric musings, part pseudo-Hollywood gossip, part lecture on bees, the actor-producer-writer-director Charles Barrington (he started as a child actor when he was very young...) has a unique way with a punchline; he will often not only lead you to it, but will sometimes wait for you to get there before him.  The show has a distinct, easy-paced, almost shambolic rhythm to it and there is undoubtedly more than a whiff of substance or alcohol abuse in Mr Barrington's past that goes some way to accounting for this.  The performance has spontaneity and charm and, as one would expect from an international star of Mr Barrington's stature, he has an easy - and yet arm's length - rapport with the audience.

I think Charles Barrington is one of the most unique comic personas to have appeared in Australia in the last few years, and one that has the potential to really grow.  The jokes are funny, the character has depth, and there is a rich vein of comic material to be mined in parodying the pomposity of the self-absorbed performer.  If a less frantic, more reflective style of comedy is what you are yearning for, I would urge you to pay Mr Barrington a visit, as I think an undiscovered gem is being hidden in full view, while Adelaide just doesn't seem to be looking.