Charlie Pickering @ MICF 2018 – by Lucy Watson
Arriving at Charlie’s show and joining the long line winding around the corner, it was clear he had come a long way since the early days when he was a young stand-up in the obligatory jeans and hoody, hustling, flyering and making a name for himself. I remember seeing him at the Edinburgh Fringe way back in 2005, his big curly hair as yet untamed by the demands of adulthood and television studio lighting. I had almost forgotten ‘Charlie the stand-up’ when I took my seat in his huge Greek Centre room, way up the back behind row after row of punters. It took only a handful of those titular 59 minutes to remind me of his blistering, unapologetic, line-pushing comedic style though. He took no prisoners and it was clear that many of the (admittedly Tuesday night) crowd had been lured in by his television profile and were expecting someone more mild mannered. More clean cut. Like his hairstyle. There were a few shocked ‘oooohhhs’ as he broached difficult, hot-button topics, barring no holds and giving no fucks. And it was glorious. I felt like I was seeing an old friend I hadn’t seen for many years. I have no doubt other crowds on other nights would have been less precious and he could have taken them even further on his hyper-intelligent, deliberately edgy ride through the issues facing the world today. Which is not to say he didn’t get the room laughing. He certainly did. They laughed. They gasped. But you could sense they were taken aback by this ‘new’ Charlie. Who was in fact the old Charlie. And he had been in there all along.
Greek Centre, 29th March to 22nd of April, no Mondays. 9.45pm Tuesdays to
Saturdays, 8.45pm Sundays.