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Review: D'Unbelievables

I doubt Vicar St has ever hosted a wedding but it practically did this week. Pat Shortt presides as a priest in an engrossing, ambitious and highly interactive show that triumphantly marks the return of Ireland's most popular comedy duo. Jon Kenny plays an excitable father of the groom to a perfect tee, while the rest of the cast are hapless random punters plucked from the audience.

Shortt and Kenny brilliantly steer a lengthy show of off-the-cuff comedy. The evening is peppered with priceless moments, such as Shortt's singer persona dipping a 'hang sangwich' into his Lucozade during a 'break'. Even the evening's interval is incorporated into the show, hosting a wedding reception in the Shelter bar. A sign for the Galtee Royal Hotel hangs above the stage, just one example of their immaculate and hilarious attention to detail.

The pair's new production is a genuine revelation, as they've been persistently criticised for peddling safe, predictable and parochial chicken-'n'-chips style comedy. The truth is that they've got the best comic faces on the Irish scene and still lampoon the plain, and not-so-plain, people of Ireland like no other.

To be fair, the show takes a little while to gel and the opening 20 minutes or so aren't exactly the Mae West, but the belly laughter punch of the rest of it more than compensates.

D'Unbelievables stopped prematurely in 2000 when Jon Kenny was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. Few, if any, ever thought they'd perform together again but Kenny has successfully battled the disease. There is a palpable sense of emotional gratitude when the pair thanks the crowd for their support at the end to a touching standing ovation. They do exactly what they say on the tin; put on 'One Hell of a Do'.

Irish Independent