Charles Barrington – My Incredible Career
Charles Barrington @ The Tuxedo Cat – Green Room
9:45pm, Thu 3 Mar 2011
I walk into the Green Room knowing nothing of Charles Barrington; I left an hour later not knowing that much more.
Andy Rodgers’ creation is a curious one. There’s an aloofness, a stand-offishness about Barrington; yes, he considers himself a people-pleaser, but the way he holds himself on stage always keeps him at a superior arm’s length from the audience. From behind his ill-fitting suit and seventies sunglasses, with drink carefully in hand, he outlines his “incredible” career, curiously mired in mundane facts that form a humorous contrast with the proposed incredulity.
And what a career! Sure, Barrington may be a real Renaissance man (with his background in beekeeping and jam-making), but it’s in his theatre work that he revels most: his acting and directing tips are outlined in his autobiography, which he constantly references.
To be honest, I suspect Barrington/Rodgers may have had a tough show tonight. With his dry, gentle style (and haughty accent), it took quite a while to get the audience onside in the laughter department… but by the time he got into the Shakespeare Rap, the chuckles were coming regularly – and that made for an enjoyable enough performance. Barrington is a decent character, but I can’t help but think that he’d be better suited to shorter sets; an hour is a lot of time to spend with someone so pompous.