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Andrew Ryan: Ryanopoly

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Alex Mason

Andrew Ryan opens with some crowd work, but unluckily is faced with an uninteresting front row with one girl trying to have her dinner and a couple who aren't sure if they're even dating. That would be enough for some, but Ryan's too eager to please and mistakes comedy for pictionary, merely telling the crowd what he's seeing instead of making any jokes.

The show's blurb describes how 'Andrew explores how money can move us to places we might not want', but that's only true if explores is slang for repeating the premise every few minutes with nothing to support it. There's not much material on money or its ability to 'move us', and what is there is lacklustre. It gets the laughs, but the jokes are restricted to shallow observations considering Ryan is an ex-bank manager.

Dealing with people might have been an more apt theme, with two standout bits both dedicated to interactions. In the first, Ryan brings the house down with his technique for dodging Bank of Ireland phone calls by deliberately answering the security questions incorrectly. In another, he adopts the persona of a simpleton unable to comprehend how phone insurance works, to a bewildered salesman.

Ryan is a natural storyteller, with other tales of pulling a Essex girl and dealing with office politics delivering more big laughs than the banking jokes. These are presented as tangents, but are where Ryan really shines which makes you wonder whether the financial stuff is more a comfort zone than what he wanted to do a show on.

All the material got laughs, but the easier jokes any pub comedian could have told. With such an engaging storytelling style you wonder why Ryan chooses not to stick to the winning formula for the entire set.

It's a debut show and it shows, it's rough around the edges and Ryan is not quite able to judge tone well enough to gauge how edgy he can get away with being. But he's a talented performer, and once he's armed with material honed to his strengths he'll definitely be one to bank on.

Review date: 27 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Alex Mason
Reviewed at: Just The Tonic at The Tron

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