Review: Nigel Charnock in Frank at The Place

Performance: 2 Oct
Reviewed by Lisa Haight - Friday 6 October 2006

Nigel Charnock’s work always makes me laugh and Frank was no exception. A solo show which was a cross between dance and cabaret, Frank was witty, thought provoking, laugh out loud funny, with a few good dance moves taken from a variety of dance genres thrown in for good measure.

Frank began in the dark with Charnock dancing from one side of the stage to the other, the sound of his feet the only clue to his whereabouts. When the lights did come on, he was in a circle of white light, surrounded by a sea of blue, jumping up and down on his back as opposed to his feet (a move which looked like it hurt). Next, Charnock left the stage and ran through the audience, flinging clothes and ripping up one of his own programmes. Once returned to the stage, Charnock went into an amusing monologue about dance in general and Bill Forsythe in particular. The funniest line of the night came when late arrivals entered the theatre and Charnock said, “you can afford a ticket but you can’t afford a watch?” Charnock, by the way, was decked out for the first part of his show in light blue Calvin Klein pyjamas; I only know because Charnock said this, product placement……

There was a bit of an awkward strip tease (down to his black pants) performed in the audience and by awkward I mean Charnock did not remove his clothes with ease. After he removed the majority of his clothes, he went back on stage and changed into a black v-neck long sleeved shirt, black trousers and white trainers. An Irish sounding song then emerged from his lips and I must say I was as impressed with Charnock’s singing as I was with his jokes and dance technique. The rest of the evening carried on much in the same, entertaining way. A fabulous show and a great way for me to start Dance Umbrella 2006.

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