Review by Cody Fowler
When Bec Charlwood asked a full house at Melbourne’s Westin Hotel if anyone knew who she was, she was met with the sound of silence from her audience. However, by the end of her debut Melbourne International Comedy Festival show, ‘Dirty Girl’, Charlwood had announced her intention to be one of the acts to watch at this year’s Festival.
With her performative style and openly personal subject matter, Charlwood quickly energises a room. While displaying a dynamic range of comedic styles, switching between singing and dancing to clever anecdotes and well timed puns, Bec’s true talent is her ability to interact with her audience. At points, ‘Dirty Girl’ feels more like a conversation between Charlwood and her enthused crowd, than a pre-meditated series of jokes. From pretend-flirting over the size of audience members’ bed frames, to riffing with others about identifying as “the dumber sibling”, few are left not on their toes, waiting in anticipation for their turn to be called upon. The line between written material and improvisation is blurred often enough to make it difficult to tell off-the-cuff wit from pre-planned quips.
When you consider the honesty and openness of Bec’s comedic tangents, you realise her ability to create a unique and engaging experience through her self-awareness. Charlwood presents as a relatable, down-to-earth figure, regardless of the in-your-face energy she brings. Bec finds humour in the mundane, from trips to Ikea to her own lack of standards when it comes to her dating life. For this reason, Charlwood’s theatrical style avoids becoming self-indulgent or overbearing, leaves you with the impression of a relatable and likeable performer.
‘Dirty Girl’ marks an exciting debut performance for Bec Charlwood. Her highly physical and interactive style is sure to make an impression on festival-goers, and comedy fans are sure to be excited for where she takes her burgeoning talents next.