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Dara O'Briain

Note: This review is from 2001

Review by Steve Bennett

Dara O'Briain is yet another of those comics who has come to Edinburgh with an more of an extended set, rather than any particularly significant or well-structured show.

So it's a tribute to his skills as an easy raconteur and instantly likeable stand-up that he pulls off such an enjoyable hour.

Irishman O'Briain - pronounced Oh-bree-yan, although he's too easy-going to care about the anglicised bastardisation he usually hears - has perfected the relaxed 'pub chat' style of stand-up that many aspire to.

He involves his audience in a genuine conversation, asking them to guess his age, make suggestions about his life or give advice about what to do in case of animal attacks.

The feedback is not used as a springboard for some flight of fancy, Ross Noble-style, nor as an excuse for easy laughs at the expense of a paying punter, but rather a real attempt to get a dialogue going.

It's not political, surreal, offensive, aggressive or challenging - yet it's far from bland, thanks to O'Briain's mastery of his craft.

And the show seems over in an instant, so enjoyable is it to be in this man's company.

O'Briain is clearly someone who has perfected his art and is now firmly establishing himself as a real talent in a particularly crowded field.

Review date: 1 Jan 2001
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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