Reviewer: Matt Forrest
Abject misery and just plain bad luck are always a source of great comedy. Well comedian, Sean McLoughlin has had his fair share of bad luck: his house has been flooded, his parents are in the midst of an ugly divorce, and he has split up with his girlfriend, it would be fair to say life is pretty rubbish. However in the midst of these calamitous events, Sean’s stand-up career is gaining momentum, which poses the question can a person be a success, while everything crumbles around him?
This is the premises of McLoughlin’s first solo tour: Whatever It Takes. It is more an exercise in self-deprecation than a stand-up show. McLoughlin arrives on stage with a manic, wild-eyed expression and immediately sets about to explain how his life has begun to unravel over the course of the last year. The main source of his irritation coming in the shape of straight-out-of-school letting agents, and the fact that as a comic he is doing alright, but he isn’t as mainstream as he would like to be.
Despite the downbeat nature of the material, McLouglin’s delivery is full of energy and life, so it always keeps you engaged and captivated. The material doesn’t always hit the intended mark, but the routines that do are hilarious: stand-out set-pieces include McLoughlin’s winning a battle with his old Catholic school, and extracts from his school report.
Following the interval it’s pretty much more of the same as we are treated to an analysis of McLoughlin’s personality and some truly awful yet hugely entertaining Borat impressions. The shows finale sees McLoughlin explain why he became a comic and why he is a better person that all of his audience: all done with his tongue firmly in his cheek.
Over this is a good fun show, its McLoughlin’s delivery and charisma rather than the material that make the show. Certainly worth a watch: even if it is just a reminder that no matter how bad your situation is there is someone always worse off than you.
Reviewed on 21 February 2016