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Dara O’Briain Voice of Reason review: Finding the humour in ordinary life

PUBLISHED: 10:12 30 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:18 30 March 2018

Comedian Dara O'Briain. Picture: BRIAN RITCHIE

Comedian Dara O'Briain. Picture: BRIAN RITCHIE

Archant

Dara, ignore your GP, your wife and the doubters who laughed at you last night. Shufflefeet is a real condition. I have it too. Stay strong, together we can beat it.

Faking mock indignation as the packed Regent roared at his middle age man neuroses, he was happy to get any reaction after the previous night’s crowd had seemingly taken a vow of silence.

Tricky when audience participation is a big part of the show.

Joking he didn’t have to be here - being on not just BBC money but male BBC money - Thursday night’s front row support acts were the gift that kept on giving.

This wasn’t a Mock the Week like dissection of world affairs. Staying current in the crazy era of Trump is a tall ask for any touring comedian. Obviously, being Irish, Brexit got a mention.

You enjoy that me-time in the departure lounge after getting fast-tracked through passport control Dara. We’re English, we love queuing.

Huffing at Professor Brian Cox eliciting a coo from the audience, Dara’s tales of trying and failing to please Stargazing Live viewers who think he’s jealous of his co-host set the night up perfectly.

His gift is finding and bonding with you over the humour in ordinary life.

If there’s any theme to the show it’s how incredibly normal his world his; albeit occasionally interspersed with drinking with biker gangs and burlesque dancers in Australia, making a mighty fine undercover cop during a stolen bicycle sting and dying when his car plunged into Dublin’s infamous Patrick Street ravine.

The two family members with us felt his pain as he shared stories of kitchen remodelling and tormenting his wife by controlling the lights, temperature and even sound system of their home via his phone.

His bits on virtual reality, lying to his young son about Legoland, being interviewed about meeting Stephen Hawking, launching a Revels experience next to M&M’s World in London and being mistaken for a coastguard brought tears to our eyes.

Former Strictly Come Dancing professional Ian Waite reminisces trips to Pakefield Pontins and reveals who he wants to lift the glitterball trophy.

This was the first ballet my friend and I had gone to watch and it was nothing but a magical experience.

Alice in Wonderland is not an obvious choice for Christmas but, as Wayne Savage found out, it provides fun-filled alternative to pantomime

Eastern Angles is celebrating 30 years of their irreverent Christmas show with the gloriously surreal tale of The Fenland Screamers. Arts Editor Andrew Clarke gets enjoyably lost in this ripping yarn set in the roaring twenties

DanceEast are staging the world premiere of a new festive dance work The Little Prince next week. Arts editor Andrew Clarke spoke to choreographer Luca Silvestrini and soprano Donna Lennard about this innovative production

The Co-op Juniors are reinventing a piece of Christmas tradition this year when they bring their version of The Nutcracker to the Snape Maltings. We take a look backstage at one of company’s most ambitious productions

What did our arts editor make of the New Wolsey’s 2018/19 panto Cinderella?

The packed audience had battled through persistent rain and gridlocked traffic to see Jason Manford at the Regent last night and, my goodness, it was worth every hard-fought mile.

Geordie Shore star Scotty T will soon swap getting mortal for magic beans as he performs in an adult version of Jack and the Beanstalk in Suffolk.

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