Ardal O’Hanlon at Latitude 2010

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Mickey Noonan

It’s an astonishing 15 years since Father Ted made Ardal O’Hanlon a household name. Still, there remains an aspect of Father Dougal-like bafflement to the Irish comedian’s stand-up and it’s no doubt the reason why his early afternoon slot in the big purple tent is well-attended.

No longer a wide-eyed innocent, O’Hanlon may now be a middle-aged man, but he'd have us believe he still isn’t sure what he’s doing when it comes to surviving and understanding the world.

Concentrating on what he knows, O’Hanlon’s engaging tales of his marriage, fatherhood, extended family and home country are solid stuff, a steady stream of laughter elicited by his purported inability to actually cope with any of the above.

He’s a charming storyteller, detailing his DIY inadequacies and annoyance with RyanAir with a gentle and occasionally daft touch that takes done and dusted material and makes it fresh.

There are topical moments too: his embarrassment at being a Catholic due to the recent scandal in the church; the economic doom’s affect on Ireland and his recent invite onto Strictly Come Dancing (sadly, he said no).

O’Hanlon is strongest when he’s engaging in surreal flights of whimsy, where his inventiveness is impressively natural, from his reasoning as to what makes a bloke ‘manly’ to his put-down of ants bound to leave the little critters feeling slighted.

The whole set is wrapped up in a message: be positive. If at times O’Hanlon forgets he has a theme, he makes up for it with a charming self-deprecation that’s hard to resist. Father Dougal McGuire won our hearts and O’Hanlon isn’t letting them go anytime soon.

Review date: 25 Jul 2010
Reviewed by: Mickey Noonan

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