A rare audience with original comedy nutjob
This article is from 2009.
Did anyone else bury deep the memory of Charlie Chuck’s shambolic, barking contributions to the careers of Reeves and Mortimer? As the familiar hangdog horror drifts stage-wards, one is struck by the realisation that you’re all paying to spend an hour in the company of a shifty bus stop mentalist (brandishing an ominous length of wood) whom you would ordinarily go to great pains to avoid. Between Tourettes outbursts, Chuck wrestles free various garbled rants, equal parts unfettered wisdom, contrary comedy and bewildering dead-ended statements in a flawless performance. If there really is a perfectly well-adjusted comedy actor under the Hendrix bouffant and dishevelled tuxedo he certainly deserves wider acclaim.
The show is a two-hander and the narrative, at first apparently superfluous, soon reveals a necessary foil to the weathered northerner’s outpatient antics. Admittedly not to everyone’s taste and crashing in cack-handed at only two thirds its billed hour, it is all the more mystifying that there is still room for such a wealth of observation, heartbreak and raw fear packed into a show that still comes good with the laughs.
Royal College of Surgeons, 0845 508 8515, until 29 Aug, 5pm, £7–£8 (£6–£7).