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Carlo Ritchie: Cooking For No One (SCF)

5 May 2017 | 2:43 pm | Sam Baran

"If you like weird stories told strangely, Carlo Ritchie's Cooking for No One is a good show to check out."

Carlo Ritchie from Sydney's celebrated The Bear Pack is back, and boy does he have some stories to tell. With a bit of awkward preamble, he launches into a series of tales strange enough to have been lifted straight out of the Twilight Zone.

"Launches" isn't quite the right word - Carlo's storytelling style is languid and gradual, not so much laying out his subject matter as sidling gently up to it. He approaches topics at right angles, bringing the audience along on a road trip beset by frequent rest stops as he reaches jarringly for a drink mid-climax.

Cooking for No One isn't the comedy of punchlines - indeed, there aren't really any to speak of. Instead, the humour resides in the compelling stories Carlo tells - including a tale of herding sheep for a British ex-SAS officer in the Arctic Circle after hitchhiking his way through Finland - and his absurd, over-the-top dramatic style. It plays out more like a series of memoirs that push the limits of credulity than anything else, each merging somewhat clumsily into the next.

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The highlights are Carlo's character impersonations. He shines in conversations with himself, impressions of the characters he meets along the way, and most of all in his dramatic recounting of Titanic fourth officer Boxhall's thoughts on the night of the great disaster with which he closes the show.

If you like weird stories told strangely, Carlo Ritchie's Cooking for No One is a good show to check out.