Patrick Monahan: Game On

Note: This review is from 2004

Review by Steve Bennett

Patrick Monahan's such a friendly, frisky, good-natured chap that it's a delight to spend an hour in his company.

That he's got such an innocent, playful manner also makes the choice of subject for his first solo Edinburgh show a logical one: childhood fun and games.

But it's also such a slight topic, offering nothing much of substance or genuine interest behind his winning smile.

For much of the show he leads us gently the rules to playground favourites like tig, bulldog or hopscotch. Only problem is, there can't be many of us who weren't aware of what these things are in the first place.

Instead he's tapping into the easy nostalgia of 'anyone remember...' tales that use straightforward observation in place of insight and humour.

That said, there is a lot in the way he tells it: a few jolly anecdotes from his own youth; a silly trivia game and the physical finale involving a stuffed toy cat on a string all help fill the sparse audience with a certain warm glow, even at this late stage in a gruelling festival.

Monahan would be an ideal talking head on one of those '100 Best' schedule-hogging compilation shows ­ lively, straightforward and effortlessly good-humoured as he his. But for a full-length show to remember, there needs to be more than simple charm.

Review date: 1 Jan 2004
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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