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Charles Horse Lays an Egg at Melbourne Fringe Festival - Review

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by Fiona Anderson (subscribe)
A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
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Which came first, the chicken or the egg has a new meaning
Cam Venn, the creator and performer of Charles Horse Lays an Egg, which is currently playing as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, was the 2018 winner of the Golden Gibbo Award in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award. For those unfamiliar with the Golden Gibbo, it is awarded to an artist who "bucks trends and pursues the artist's idea more strongly than it pursues any commercial lure". Add to that 'a performance that stretches the boundaries of what's acceptable on stage' and you have Charles Horse.

Charles Horse Lays an Egg at Melbourne Fringe Festival - Review
Astronaut Charles Horse - can he save the world?

Charles Horse is the story of an astronaut residing on a space station somewhere in outer space. Suddenly, the space station comes under attack - from a giant chicken, the 'size of a small planet'. The brains trust of NASA is assembled to try and figure out how to quell the threat to Earth posed by the chicken.

There is a realisation that the chicken wishes, shall we say, to become intimate with the astronaut, and that is what will change the chicken's attitude towards humankind.

There is a newsflash on TV to explain what is happening and the incredibly risky task the astronaut must undertake to save the Earth.

Charles Horse Lays an Egg at Melbourne Fringe Festival - Review
News flash - what drastic action must Charles Horse take to save mankind?

And then the plan is rolled out.

To say much more would spoil the eye-popping finale, which you need to experience for yourself to fully appreciate the impact.

In this show, Cam completes quick character changes from an astronaut, to NASA nerd, to a newsreader, back to an astronaut. It's not at all slick or polished, but that's part of the charm and humour of the show.

There is a LOT of audience participation - the show relies on it - so be warned. Naturally, once again, my partner David ended up on stage; this time, so did I.

Charles Horse Lays an Egg at Melbourne Fringe Festival - Review
Charles Horse has a checkup (from my partner David) before embarking on the rescue mission

The promotional material for the show warns that it 'contains nudity, sexual references and bumholes' and is restricted to an adult audience (and pretty open-minded adults at that). For a good deal of the show, Cam's either naked or largely so, seemingly completely comfortable in his own skin. And yes, you will get to know his backside much better during the course of the show.

Charles Horse Lays an Egg at Melbourne Fringe Festival - Review
Charles the victorious?

Five stars out of five on the quirky humour scale. I thought the show was hilarious; but if you're someone who is easily offended, run a mile!

Congratulations to Cam Venn for being prepared to push the envelope (okay, not just the envelope!) and leave his audience gasping.

Charles Horse Lays an Egg plays at the Lithuanian Club, 44 Errol Street, North Melbourne, until Saturday 29th September. Show times are Tuesday to Saturday - 10.30pm, Sunday - 9.30pm, no show on Mondays.

Tickets are $20 - $25. Click here to buy tickets online, or call the box office on (03) 9660 9666.

The images in this article were taken by the writer.
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Why? Bizarre, completely out-there comedy that stretches the boundaries
When: Plays until Saturday 24th September. Tues - Sat: 10.30pm, Sunday: 9.30pm, (no show Monday)
Phone: (03) 9660 9666 (Fringe Festival box office)
Where: Lithuanian Club - The Loft, 44 Errol St, North Melbourne
Cost: $20 - $25
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