O'Briain warms to the task

IT'S not that long since Dara O'Briain was in town; then he performed to a less than full house at the Corn Exchange, which is a less than ideal venue for a lone comedian.

IT'S not that long since Dara O'Briain was in town; then he performed to a less than full house at the Corn Exchange, which is a less than ideal venue for a lone comedian.

It's plain that he felt quite strongly about that, making the point when he walked out to a packed Regent. The huge improvement in atmosphere brought the best out of the big man and he was completely on top of his game, unfazed even by the failure of his mic to work properly.

He is a charismatic performer, sharp but warm, blessed with a comic brain that occasionally outpaces his tongue.

A promising strand about the scent-marking techniques of feral priests (“I don't do this one in Ireland,” he confessed) ended up lost in a high-speed babble; he was away on his own and for an instant we were left far behind.


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His inventivess is sparked by the energy of the room and he made the most of his front row participants, the organic farmer with a cow called Petula, the flood defence engineer who lived on a hill and John, who happened to hail from Norwich...

His creativity rubbed off on the audience, who responded to his request for stories about crime intervention with a couple of likely tales about burglars sent packing by, ahem, a father's flatulence and a jewellery raid that ended with a wedding. All great fun.

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Dom Castle

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