Patrick Monahan's Road Map to Peace

Note: This review is from 2005

Review by Steve Bennett

Within five minutes of starting his show, Patrick Monahan already knows the first names, birthplaces and family history of everyone in his front row.  He also encourages anyone with the inclination to tickle a particular audience member, simply because he looks as if he needs cheering up. 

With his clear talent for audience participation, Monahan unfortunately allows himself to easily become distractedfrom his ambitious script, and also within it.

Monahan’s talent for working a room is immediately useful, as he can effortlessly get an entire audience on his side before embarking upon the substance of his show.  However, it also means those people he invited to be involved feel a need to continue to contribute even after the main narrative gets under way.  This is clearly a problem when a show has as direct a purpose as Monahan’s, revolving around a road map to world peace he supposedly found after an Indiana-Jones-style advernture.

Additionally, the script can be difficult to keep up with, constantly keeping the audience on their toes.  Although not necessarily that bad a thing, the links between material can still seem tenuous at best.  It is as if Monahan’s attention deficit manifests itself in his writing.

But the good points of this show still outweigh the bad.  One set piece – where Monahan has two audience members on stage – ends in a hilarious quasi-riot, but is so well conceived and executed that it acts as a wonderful outlet for his talent for e interaction. 

Despite the random fluctuations in subject matter, Monahan’s takes his show in a very promising direction and even if the scope prove overambitious, he makes an extremely valiant effort. 

The switches in tone towards the end of the show work brilliantly, leaving the impression that were it not for the jumbled  middle section, Monahan might have had a comic masterpiece on his hands.

Review date: 1 Jan 2005
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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