Back At It – dlr Mill Theatre, Dublin

Reviewer: Emma Devlin

Writer and Director: Chris Kent

The Mill Theatre is but one of many stops on this, Chris Kent’s largest ever tour, and he’s found his way into the big room this time round, playing a sold-out show. With support from fellow Corkonian comedian Cornelius Patrick O’Sullivan, it’s a night of smart and sharp anecdotal comedy delivered by two extremely gregarious gentlemen.

To give O’Sullivan his due here, his set is a great warm up for Kent but it calls for a moment in the sun of its own; he develops a quick and strong rapport with the audience immediately, the content is well thought out and puts a new twist on some familiar topics, but the real stars are his perfectly pitched asides. A fantastic opener, and he’s playing in Whelan’s in Dublin this Sunday the 25th of February if you can find yourself a ticket.

On to the main act. There is a lot of positive buzz around Kent at the moment, as there has been since he came on the scene in 2009, with some huge names in comedy singing his praises, and it’s easy to see why with this set. Focusing on his return to full time comedy after a couple of years back in the day job, successfully securing a mortgage but struggling a bit on securing the actual house, Kent takes the audience through a series of deftly connected anecdotes. There are some seriously clever call backs in this set and a good chunk of very relatable content, as well as a few flips on well-worn ideas that have the audience roaring in surprise when they crop up. Expect to learn about how to break into your own car, what you might be willing to put up with to finally buy a house in Ireland right now, and how far sleep deprivation can take you when faced with the busiest bouncy castle man in the county.

Perhaps Kent’s greatest strength as a comedian is the solid work he puts in with the audience, he spends a very sizeable portion of the first half of his set getting to know different people in the crowd in a way that is both affable and gently confrontational (a classic Cork style), and then using these relationships throughout the show. He holds the audience close and creates a very comfortable atmosphere, he seems to be in his element entertaining a room of people and there’s not a drop of unease to detect; though some people certainly shouldn’t quit their day jobs, it’s abundantly clear that Kent made the right call to quit his, there’s nowhere he should be but on the stage. Kent is playing all over the country and beyond on this tour – buy a ticket, you won’t regret it.

Reviewed on 22nd February 2024.

The Review's Hub Score

Cleverly crafted comedy

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The Reviews Hub - Ireland

The Ireland team is currently under the editorship of Laura Marriott. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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