As the poster proclaims: "One nerd to perform the whole trilogy!"
A word of advice to those considering going to see Charlie Ross’s One Man Lord of the Rings: watch the movies before you go. In one intense hour of comedy, he simultaneously parodies and pays homage to Peter Jackon’s trilogy, so not only will the show make more sense (or any sense at all), it’s much funnier because you pick up the very fine nuances in his send up act.
Ross is obviously a seasoned performer and his decade of experience on stage shows in his finely tuned act that covers all 3 movies in an hour with no props – just his plainly dressed self, his vocal cords and clever lighting – as well as his ability to recover from hiccups in events (“news and the weather” he quips as his vocal acrobatics results in a gob of spit flying into a front-row member). He captures the movie actors’ physical and vocal inflections perfectly, and does a pretty convincing rendition of the music as well.
What made it even more enjoyable was the contrast between his immersion in the action delivered with frenetic energy, and the charming moments when he engaged the crowd. As well as littering the piece with casual digs at audience members who had neither seen the movies nor read the books, he bantered with the audience both during and in between scenes, and finished with a brief monologue about himself and how the show came to be.
A brilliant performance that makes me wish I hadn’t passed on One Man Star Wars.
One Man Lord of the Rings is playing at the Sydney Opera House until April 3 (and in Melbourne and Brisbane thereafter).
Last weekend we did something out of the ordinary (for us, anyway): we went to the theatre. Thoroughly fed up with my hermetic leanings, Jenny had secretly booked a couple of tickets for a show at the Sydney Festival. That show was Food Chain – part stand up comedy, part shadow puppetry, part contemporary dance, part moving art, part philosophy, etc.
It was largely a commentary on the human being as an animal, with the overarching narrative featuring a couple of bears at a human camping site. I have only a very basic appreciation of art, so most of the stuff like the interpretive dance went over my head (especially one that I dub “sex with bear”)*, but the staging itself was very, very imaginative and creative. The team were able to create several very different scenarios out of little more than creative lighting, a few stuffed animals, a tent and – the centrepiece of the set – a large tree. The final part, which I can only think to call “falling” since it consists of the actors continually falling down the tree in slow motion in every conceivable way, accompanied by a mellow piano piece – was exquisitely choreographed. But it went on for too long.
Nothing like a bit of bestiality to liven up an art piece.
Overall, a brief but interesting flirtation with the Sydney Festival.
* As best as I can tell this is what happened: there’s a sub-plot involving one of the female characters, who the bears lure into the tent presumably to eat her. She’s rescued by another guy in a (different) bear suit, but then in a scene told entirely in shadowplay he becomes a man and they have sex, during which he turns back into a bear. Later on that same character is seen doing a dance where she props up a bear’s head, using her foot or whatever, and schmoozes with it. Weeeeiiiird.