David O’Doherty Is Looking Up **** The List

David O’Doherty is Looking Up

  • Source: The List (Issue 687)
  • Date: 19 August 2011 (updated 30 August 2011)
  • Written by: Jonny Ensall

David O'Doherty

Immaculate content delivered with furious enthusiasm

David O’Doherty used to work in a German sausage factory. This might sound like a crass comedy set-up, but it is in fact true. His role was to drive a giant Hoover designed to suck up the smashed, sausage-filled jars that tumbled off the conveyer belts. There are no double entendres in this hilarious section of his 2011 show, just a man talking about the mechanics of sausage suction.

Such is the low-key brilliance of the Irishman’s work. Without having to grope around for any jokes he has the crowd happily giggling from start to finish with a stream of songs, anecdotes and observations delivered in his trademark incredulous monotone.

There’s an almost unstoppable momentum to the performance. O’Doherty looks like a comedy athlete – a superhero even in his blue and gold cape. He’s slim (the result of a bacterial infection he helpfully lets us know), and loud – he near-shouts his set with the vehemence of a motivational speaker. The only pause comes when his bottle of fizzy water tips over, threatening to drown one of his beloved tiny keyboards, and offering the opportunity to reference deglaciation and paternoster lakes.

It would, perhaps, be nice to hear some more of these super smart, off-the-cuff asides, but O’Doherty can’t wait to get back into the flow of his (admittedly excellent) material. The practised pace of his winning song-digression-song formula is mesmerising. It’s a packed hour, as accomplished as you’ll find anywhere this Fringe.

David O’Doherty is Looking Up, Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 29 Aug, 7.20pm, £14-£15 (£12-£13)

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