Ardal O'Hanlon – Original Review | Review by Steve Bennett

Ardal O'Hanlon – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

Ardal O’Hanlon will forever be overshadowed by his role as Father Ted’s naïve young charge, and the assumption is that his stand-up will be in a similar vein – the wide-eyed innocent bewildered by just about everything he encounters.

Well, that certainly may have been the case once; but no more. He’s a middle-aged man now, with kids of his own, and the persona has had to move on, too.

Not that he’s entirely comfortable in his new role as man of the world. He still bears a look of abject terror when he’s forced to contemplate his responsibilities, nor can he muster up anger, however much he might want to. When he gets frustrated by the world, exasperation is his only response.

It’s a charmingly understated set, getting laughs from downplaying situations or from sharing engagingly silly descriptions, absolutely deadpan. Telling of the trampoline he reluctantly bought for his daughter is one of the best examples of this, something utterly inconsequential elevated into a routine that’s almost poetic in its imagry.

Not all is quite so masterly, mind. A couple of segments fade into nothing and there’s a callback at the end that seems cynically mechanical, that jars with his otherwise fluid set.

But that’s the exception, rather than the rule. Plus he’s such a charmer, this mild and modest performer, that you’d forgive him anything. Even My Hero.

Review date: 7 Jun 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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