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).