independent

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Gaelgóir Bishop keeps 'em chuckling at The Mermaid

Des Bishop has his qualms about having become the poster boy for the Irish language, but not many of them. With the success of his show In The name of the Fada' still ringing in his ears, the Irish-American comic is a little startled by the effect his year in the Gaeltacht learning an teanga náisiœnta has had upon Irish teachers across the land.

Des Bishop has his qualms about having become the poster boy for the Irish language, but not many of them.

With the success of his show In The name of the Fada' still ringing in his ears, the Irish-American comic is a little startled by the effect his year in the Gaeltacht learning an teanga náisiœnta has had upon Irish teachers across the land.

They say I've made Irish cool now,' he said. Yeah, cool for you!'

With his finger on the pulse of Bray society, within minutes of arriving on-stage at the Mermaid last Wednesday evening, an exhausted-from-gigging Des remarked gleefully that some newly built luxury homes in the vicinity of the theatre are likely to become one of the ghettoes of the not-too-distant future.

It didn't take him too long then to ramble out an extraordinary metaphor likening the decline in Irish wealth to the disappointment of realising a leprechaun performing a lewd act on one is actually a dwarf dressed in green and on the lookout for heroin!

Bringin it Fassaroe style,' he exclaimed in an exaggerated mock-street accent as he swaggered across the stage, before describing Bray as a Victorian hole,' adding that it was, in fact, the place to be 100 years ago.

Slights on their home town aside, the 242-strong crowd at the Arts Centre that night was nonetheless held firmly in the palm of the comedian's hand as he delivered an apparently effortless monologue of observations - often filthy and sometimes bizarre, always good natured. (Except for an ever so slightly racist extended rant, albeit from the point of view of an impatient Centra shopper, about a Polish staff member making a sloppy roll.)

Such was the relaxed atmosphere in the room that when our comic spotted a Captain Birdseye lookalike sitting happily in the front row, the man obligingly stood up and turned around to the audience to give everyone a look.

Other audience members to get noticed included a boy with a seal-like laugh who got his own private joke nobody else was allowed laugh at, and a senior lady, in the front row, whom Des threatened to break in half granny.'

With a smattering of Irish, (and who knew anyone could be funny in Irish?) and a wit and sense of timing second to none, Bishop finished by rapping the Irish Version of Jump Around (Léim Thart).

A free Irish course is available on the website www.desbishop.com

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