Reviewer: Paul Downham
The first thing you notice about Dara O’Briain is the speed in which he delivers every single line in the two hour plus jaunt through a myriad of subjects. It takes a few minutes to adjust yourself to the pace, but once you’re there it is clear O’Briain is a master of his trade.
Making his first appearance at The Lowry for over three years O’Briain is quick to thank the audience for coming out on a Monday night, a night our host tells us is traditionally a tricky one to play. O’Briain needn’t have worried as the packed Salford audience provided a traditional northern welcome.
Battling the end of a cold the show begins with observations of how things have changed in the area around The Lowry and the arrival of the BBC in Media CityUK. Involving the audience from the very beginning it is clear O’Briain is at ease interacting with his fans finding out where they were from and the jobs that they do.
A clever story about creating a crime series made up with the audience inserting words when asked was cleverly executed with some interesting results. One can only imagine the combinations that have come up on the tour to date.
A highlight of the evening was our host describing the reasons why he is not suitable to present certain programmes on the BBC. O’Briain’s mannerisms during this sketch are superb and a fitting conclusion to the first half.
The second half continues at the same frenetic pace as O’Briain explores the brain and how it works before moving onto what we teach our kids providing some brilliant observational comedy.
Further pieces on Buzzkills and a slightly racier section on stockings lead onto a story about Triple Jumper Phillips Idowu and O’Briain who took a wrong turn during day two of the Zambezi River challenge for Comic Relief and how it resulted in a rescue attempt. As serious as the incident was our host managed to insert humour into the story.
An interruption part way through the final story by a heckler was skilfully dealt with and just went to prove that O’Briain is a master of his art.
Reviewed 11th May 2015