Dylan Moran Comedy Review
iveagh gardens, dublin
It's been a while since Dylan Moran graced an Irish stage. It seems like aeons since he last appeared at a major comedy festival.
John Bishop may be the household name at this year's Vodafone Comedy Festival, selling out multiple nights in the O2 at the drop of a hat, but it's the return of the Navan man that is the real treat of the weekend's festivities.
Moran performs four consecutive sold out shows. For his penultimate appearance, he is supported by the exciting up-and-coming talent Fred Cooke.
Kevin Gildea brilliantly MCs, which is an apt choice as Gildea is a former member of Mr Trellis, Ireland's first alternative comedy troupe that gave Moran his comic epiphany in the late eighties in the International Bar on Wicklow Street.
Gildea welcomes everyone's favourite bumbling Irishman to the stage, a familiar sight with his dishevelled hair, jeans and glass of wine. The constant chain smoking of yore may be knocked on the head, but there's something reassuringly amusing about Moran's familiar persona.
Dylan confesses that he doesn't spend too much in Ireland anymore, but the tumultuous change of recent years hasn't escaped his notice. He observes that not too long ago people were seemingly too busy to talk to him, caught in a whirlwind of mobile communications and the pursuit of wealth. Now, people stop him on the street to say they once bumped into him in a Spar.
Moran notes that the financial crisis in Europe has hit the fun countries hardest, namely Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland. "No one ever goes to Germany saying they're going to relax," he splutters in his inimitable, slightly contrary and infectiously funny manner.
Dylan possesses a brilliant turn of phrase and superb comic timing. He brings a highly likable personality to his performances, making him such a precious comedian.
The runaway success of his other projects such as the classic television series 'Black Books' with Bill Bailey grants him the luxury of being selective when it comes to his sporadic touring schedule. On a circuit that suffers from an overreliance on a familiar coterie of usual suspects, a Moran show is a joy.
It's a sure-fire sign of a great comedy gig when it seems to whiz by in the blink of an eye. One audience member howls mournfully, "Please do at least another half an hour!"
A running theme of this spellbinding appearance is the numerous ways in which we attempt to escape from reality. An evening with Dylan Moran is definitely up there as one of the best.