David O’Doherty: Big Time

David O'Doherty

Assembly Hall

From 04 August 2016 to 28 August 2016

Rating: ****

Review by David Chadderton

O'Doherty is a fairly nondescript-looking Irishman, but behind the beard and the baseball cap lurks a sharp, intelligent wit and a quirky, if sometimes bleak, view of the world.

He makes frequent use of a cheap plastic keyboard, which he certainly can play, but it is mainly used to underscore some of his monologues, with the occasional song.

He does make mention of deaths, but not the now-clichéd examination of celebrity deaths of 2016. He riffs on the idea of being asked to post sponsored tweets, and his campaign to find the most obscure and bizarre thing to pretend he had been sponsored by on Twitter.

He tells us about working as a telemarketer, talks about superpowers and his nemesis and then lists celebrities doing mundane things.

At the end, he appears to be getting serious with stories of his family history in the Irish struggles, which eventually leads to a punchline that harks back to something mentioned some time earlier, but some serious points remain made, whether the details are true or not.

He has a warm, lovable personality and draws the audience in with his quick-fire delivery, even when he is faining arrogance about his coming great commercial success over the next year.