Rory O'Hanlon at the 2010 Brighton Fringe

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

This is not the show that was advertised. The vague programme blurb contained no clue that this was (a) a very early Edinburgh preview, and (b) a show called United By Liverpool, all about Rory O’Halon’s love of Manchester United. Since I have no knowledge, and even less interest, in football, this probably wasn’t the show I’d have chosen to see.

Still, Nick Hornby has proved that you can make soccer appeal to non-fans; although it’s a feat that eludes this personable Dubliner. As he goes through a catalogue of his team’s wins and losses, the passion doesn’t transfer. He may tell us a game was fantastic, but doesn’t make us feel it.

Nor is it funny. Amiable, yes, but it’s quite some achievement to write an hour of comedy with so few apparent jokes in it. The subdued response he received had less to do with the small afternoon audience than the fact the anecdotes weren’t funny and the gags either non-existent or hugely predictable. O’Hanlon should listen to some vintage Jasper Carrott for a lesson in how to make watching a loved team from the wrong end of a stadium hilarious; here it’s a pedestrian pub tale with little reward.

Though he seems an amiable enough chap, he couldn’t hold the interest for an hour – and he certainly has his work cut out to inject enough punchlines in time for the Edinburgh Fringe in little over two months. If that festival is the World Cup of comedy, he shows every sign of being the Faroe Islands.

Review date: 14 May 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Brighton Royal Albion Hotel

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