Patrick Monahan: Time Bandit

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

Patrick Monahan enters the stage in darkness thanks to a power failure. He barely seems to have noticed. Like a Duracell bunny that's just been fitted with new batteries, he is off and nothing is going to stop him.

Lighting himself with a borrowed pocket torch, he plucks a French guy from the front row, hugs him to his chest, plonks a feathered hat on him and declares that he is making him Timelord for the night. He hands him a stopwatch and directs the guy to let him know how much time he's got left at regular intervals... No real reason, but the French guy certainly looks comical in that hat. Then he's clambering into the audience gladhanding the next person, all ‘How are you, love? Where you from?’ He has the social zeal of a man on ecstasy.

Though he's young, there's something curiously old-fashioned about the
Irish-Iranian comedian. Maybe it's the cheeky chappy chirpiness or his show-must-go-on mentality, but he brings to mind an older breed of comic, the sort who would describe himself first and foremost as an ‘entertainer’.

He dances, he dons silly costume. He tells observational anecdotes that, summarised, amount to: ‘Women eh? Aren't they funny?’ or ‘Kids! What will they think of next?’. And if he says anything remotely risque, he's quick to add a reassuring, if unnecessary, "Only joking!".

In a way, Monahan is a victim of his own success - he makes it all look so natural (with the notable exception of the breakdancing) that it's easy to overlook the skill being demonstrated... he's sweating hard beneath his jacket.

Sure, it isn't demanding stuff and he's not about to change your perspective on anything. His is comedy as a trade rather than any sort of art. But there's no disputing that the man achieves his intent - to entertain the arse off you - with quite some aplomb.

Reviewed by: Nione Meakin

Review date: 1 Jan 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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With typical hyperbole, the show is described thusly: 'Under-rehearsed, under-prepared and under pressure, Nick and his band somehow managed to pull together the greatest show in the last 27 years of living memory. That show went down as a thing of legend, often spoken about by weary travellers around campfires, but thought to have been lost to the sands of time forever.'

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