We shuffled in to the mini auditorium. Carlo Ritchie – the ‘second tallest member of The Bear Pack’ (improvisational comedy duo) stood comfortably on the small stage with a red velvet curtain backdrop. I’m a massive fan of The Bear Pack, and have seen Carlo in his improvised comedic glory full force, so I had high expectations.
I was not disappointed. He has a very comfortable stage presence, simultaneously maintaining the self awareness required to improvise, and the relaxation to flow with himself and the audience. His standup, in contrast to his improv, felt much more conversational. The ‘tangents’ he went on felt organic, and he neatly tied them back in to the overarching direction of the show.
The intimacy of the venue, I’m sure, also contributed to the friendly atmosphere. Even sitting almost at the very back, my plus one and I were pretty close to the action.
Carlo’s show felt more like hearing a friend tell some (very) funny stories about life and love. Stories which were so engaging at no point did you want to jump in with your own anecdotes, and the hour was up too soon. He delivered his tales with fluency and character, as well as a superbly varied vocabulary.
He’s a comedian who clearly loves what he does, and you’ll leave his shows infected with some of that cheerfulness.
Liv S. is a creature of warm weather, negronis, and writing. She can usually be found elbow deep in a pile of chicken wings. Check out her musings @callmememphisjones.
Check out our guide for the Sydney Comedy Festival for other shows to check out!