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Jarlath Regan: A Man of Very Little Mystery - Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Corry Shaw

How lovely it is to spend time in the company of amiable Irishman Jarleth Regan. Such a pleasant, gentle way to pass the minutes with a fair few giggles and the comfortable collection of amusing tales.

Regan is incredibly good at being witty and personable but he just falls short of being laugh out loud funny. He seems to know this and sticks to very conventional material about the recession not affecting those who never had, girls versus guys’ nights out and his Irish upbringing.

There is just very little to sink your teeth into, and he has heard that criticism before. He seems genuinely sad when recounting the effect reviews can have on him, taking them very personality. If reviews were based on likeability, then Regan would score highly; it is his material not his persona that is average.

He can find the funny in most topics he touches on, delivering a delightfully joyous story about his starring role as Santa at a local primary school, his intent to take the spoiled kids down a peg or two by refusing them the gifts they asked for. But the payoff only serves to reinforce Regan’s inherently good nature rather than delivering the belly laughs that could have been found if he was just a touch less pleasant.

Again in a routine about a magazine’s Top Tips sections on how to treat your girlfriend Regan demonstrates that he can be funny, but being likeable always wins out. There is regular audience banter and he is fast to point out that he will not pick on people. Indeed he doesn’t, he is polite and courteous, witty and convivial and although it may make the audience feel safer, it certainly doesn’t encourage them to laugh any harder.

Nice and pleasant may not be words you will see splashed over flyers or posters but they are vital characteristics in what would be an otherwise relatively dull show.

Review date: 24 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Corry Shaw

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