Watson comes out on to the stage brandishing a fine bottle of gin, sporting a leopard-print cape and a beard to rival Ned Kelly, and launches into a staccato, rambunctious soliloquy. At 25, he got engaged. Might’ve gone all the way, picked out names for the kids, bought a house, lock, stock, the whole lot. It’s funny, he muses aloud whilst dispensing shots of gin – note to self, sit front and centre for future Zach Watson shows – how he’s ended up miles from that.
On the surface, All Growed Up is Watson’s musings on how it feels to be 33 and clawing back from the windswept par-6 that was 2019 for him. Having Evel Knievel’d himself over a planter box (that’s his story and he’s sticking to it), he shattered his wrist requiring a few month’s whack of workcover and some prescription narcotics, and the introspection that creeps in when you’ve only got the two cats that your housemates have adopted to talk to. See, by 33, his old man was married with kids and a house, and it vexed him; where was his high-school sweetheart with a meal plan? His three kids with ludicrous names? His bricklaying job in a quiet country town? How did he get here? Where is that large automobile? Watson’s debut Fringe show last year was The Zachelor, about his attempts to move on from the aforementioned fiancée and find love, so it’s only natural that All Growed Up is the realisation that adhering to some universally mandated syllabus really isn’t the solution.
Part ode to his father, part love-letter to the fine art of blazing one’s own trail, Watson clearly revels in stripping himself bare, the self-deprecation leading to the acceptance that if you’re happy telling jokes, slinging drinks, and going on the occasional surfing trip with some good mates whilst sinking biblical amounts of Cooper’s finest, then how can that be a bad thing?
Delivered with a sort of nervous energy, Watson won’t have you rolling in the aisles, he’s not that sort of comic. Some people just won’t get him, the dishevelled shirt, the wild pogoing from one topic to the other, the gleeful smile when describing his ex-boss going bankrupt, but you ain’t gotta like him. He’s Big Lebowski’s The Dude, the affable anti-hero, and really, that’s pretty alright by me.
3.5 / 5 stars
Words by Mikey Della Porta
All Growed Up is playing at Rhino Room until February 22
For more information and to purchase tickets, click here