Ardal O'Hanlon has the gift of the gag
By Citizen Journalist Hannah Barnwell
Our reviewer was was captivated by the Irish charms and comedy of Ardal O'Hanlon at the Warwick Arts Centre on 14 October 2007.
Ardal O’Hanlon is probably best known and loved as Father Dougal McGuire in the wonderful Father Ted. Ardal and Dougal share a lot of the same attributes - charm, innocence, energy and comic timing (whether intentional or not!) – but what the priest lacks in intelligence, the comedian has in spades.
Do not be fooled by this man’s performance. He may present topics like a naughty school boy, apologising when he swears or if anything may be taken the wrong way, but he is not afraid to tackle issues such as racism and religion.
It is impossible not to be taken in by Ardal. His performance was warm and inviting, as was his lovely Irish accent, and I felt as if he was there to tell his charming tales to me personally.
The set was in the form of story-telling, some true, some jokes, and the rhythm and pace was just right. He looked like he was enjoying himself, and because of this the audience enjoyed him too.
Particular favourite topics he covered included the poltergeist in his house, a recurring joke about pirates, and a man’s lifecycle told through the pyjamas he wears.
I was really happy to see that Ardal is another of a rare breed of today’s comedians who doesn’t feel the need to swear excessively. His stories and jokes were funny because of the content, not because he added a few swear words to illustrate his point. He was totally inoffensive and this really worked in his favour.
Towards the end of the set he talked a little about Father Ted, mainly as a result of prompts and persuasion from the audience. It was nice that he talked about this, as it is the reason a lot of people know of him, but was also nice that he didn’t rely on it to sell his show. He talked about it briefly, then moved on.
Overall, I was really impressed. His set was funny, his style was great, and his stage presence was wonderful.
Oh, and the set ended on a high – he sang My Lovely Horse. It was beautiful.
last updated: 18/10/07
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