David O\'Doherty Creates Something New Under The Su

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

This is a pretty ambitious title for a Fringe show, making a promise few would be able fulfil.

And, sure enough, O'Doherty doesn't manage to create a previously undiscovered strain of comedy - but instead produces another hour of melancholy-tinged whimsy that will delight his slowly-growing fan base.

He had, he claimed, intended to do something entirely different. But his tale of a shy lobster who wanted to be a jazz musician ("it's slightly autobiographical") made preview audiences weep, so it was back to the drawing board - and the cheap Yamaha organ - for this resulting collection of homespun yarns.

O'Doherty rightly hates the tourist-board notion of Ireland as a land of leprechauns and blarney, yet his romanticised, nostalgic storytelling in the same tradition of the poets who helped formed that image - right down to the downbeat edge of many of his tales.

He pines for his childhood and claims to be morose as an adult, but finds that being easily distracted is his salvation. If this doesn't sound like the basis for a bang-bang-bang, laugh-a-minute comedy show, well it isn't.

There are a handful of funny lines (O'Doherty claims he has only ever written three jokes, but I beg to differ) and some wonderful ideas, such as the parallels between Catholic doctrine and Australian soap operas.

But really it's O'Doherty's engaging presence that makes this such a warmly enjoyable hour, albeit one that won't put your sides in any danger of splitting.

Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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