Gary O'Donnell – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2003

Review by Steve Bennett

The product of a small but enthusiastic local comedy scene, O'Donnell is the funniest comic to come out of Leicester since... actually are there any others?

He is very much a local act for local people. Some of his lively routine is transferable, such as the misplaced pride he has in Leicester, but much leans too heavy on the local references to work beyond the county boundaries.

In his set, he the twinge of pride whenever his home city on the national news, and you can't help see parallels with his own act. With a home crowd, much of the laughter comes from simple recognition of places like Anstey Heights to Bradgate Park, rather than from any searing insight.

But O'Donnell is naturally funny, and his infections bonhomie means you won't go home unhappy.

That is a double-edged sword, though, as he can end up relying on his natural charm to get the laughs, rather than crafting a polished punchline. But he can, and does, hit the spot on more than one occasion.

It will be interesting to see if he can develop a more universal set, without sacrificing his East Midlands roots and viewpoint that make him unique.

Review date: 1 Feb 2003
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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