Bec Charlwood - Dirty Girl. A Token Event
 

Bec Charlwood - Dirty Girl

A Token Event

At 26 years, Bec Charlwood is one of the youngest comedians performing at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival and she’s come a long since her birth at Fannie Bay (not a euphemism, she’s quick to point out).

A quick poll of her Saturday audience revealed that few knew of her before the night (it might actually have been ‘no-one’), but I reckon that won’t be the case next year – or even by the end of the festival.

While her material is still a bit raw and there’s plenty of room for growth, Charlwood has a natural charisma and confidence that signals huge potential for the future. She’s comfortable in her own skin too, which is a joy to see.

As with any comic, we saw her confidence grow as the audience supported her and she settled into a good rhythm of observation, including the sad lot of a family’s ‘dumb child’ (and the potential for revenge); the ups and downs of metal health; the joys of working in retail; negotiating divorced parents… and sex. Lots of sex. Only some of it protected.

To be fair, the clue is there in the title of the work: Dirty Girl. Although her mum may disagree.

While she bravely offers her own indiscretions and exploits as material and dares you to shame or pity her, there’s a strong reliance on her ability to shock to get laughs, and there’s a limit to how far you can go with that – plus, as Hannah Gadsby reflected in her classic ‘Nanette’, if you use yourself as the punchbag for too long, you’ll get sick of beating yourself up.

Charlwood has already developed a talent for working a running joke, and she plays the audience well, knowing when to stop and reflect and never losing her cool. But here lies another trap; while she skillfully covers a quiet moment with the handy trick of putting it back on the crowd for the lack of laughs (“Oh so you don’t like mental health then?”), there’s a risk that if you push it too far you’ll lose the love. And miss the chance to work out why the crowd was quiet in the first place.

But with a bit of guidance I’m pretty sure she will soon work that out.

Watch this space.

 

Venue: The Westin Hotel, 205 Collins St, Melbourne

Dates: Until April 4, 2021

Tickets: $20-$25

Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au

Suitable for audiences 18+

 

Event details

Venue: The Westin Hotel, 205 Collins St, Melbourne
Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au

Venue: The Westin Hotel, 205 Collins St, Melbourne
Dates: Until April 4, 2021
Tickets: $20-$25
Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au
Suitable for audiences 18+

Melbourne