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Neil Delamere

Note: This review is from 2004

Review by Steve Bennett

This quietly charming young Irishman had his mettle tested on tonight's sparsely-attended gig, thanks to the impossibly annoying teacher making her own special contributions from her prominent front-row seat.

He batted her down with a quick wit on more than one occasion, before finally, and inventively, stealing one of the tricks from her own trade to effectively silence her for the during.

Having thus distinguished himself to the great relief of the rest of the audience, Neil Delamere launched into his material, informed by growing up in small-town Ireland. Much of it is homespun stuff about the ridiculous way parents behave and the like, but occasionally a barbed one-liner emerges from the gentle observations. His father's comment about Siamese Twins, for example, stands out for being so gloriously wrong.

This Ballykissangel image of rural living is reinforced, sometimes to great effect ­ as in his well-constructed story of being caught by teachers teasing the simpler kid in his class while playing with an imaginary football. It's designed as an episode to show a crueller side to his character, but Delamere seems so amiable that it just doesn't stick.

In fact, it comes across more as mischief; but the sort that's within the limits of polite behaviour. The same spirit pervades his best routine, in which he reads ever more curt replies to a series of wind-up requests purportedly made to a hotel reception desk.

It's neatly done, in keeping with the rest of the warmly entertaining show. Even though the ambitions of his material may be modest, he delivers some decent laughs.

Review date: 1 Jan 2004
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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