A seasoned comedian, David O’Doherty is the force de jour in musical comedy. Returning to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival after two years back in his homeland of Ireland, O’Doherty settles back in seamlessly, in an hilarious night of observational comedy- with a healthy sprinkle of melodic ramblings.
Still sporting his keyboard from 1986, wearing a stripped tee and bright sneakers – basically an outfit a toddler may wriggle into – or as O’Doherty says: he was dressed like an ‘archaeologist on jury duty’. O’Doherty still nails his most identifiable shtick, his amateur musical sing-songs, which always gets the laughs- but his stand-alone standup is where he really comes alive.
Audience banter was light, thankfully, and his observational tidbits regarding Instagram were gleefully spot on, with old jam jars and avocados dominating his inner-narrative. He never skips a single beat, he rattles subtle punch lines off as quick as a whipper snipper – an impressive feat.
His likable, relaxed presence made the audience feel like they were in confident hands. O’Doherty often lying down, gliding and rolling about the stage for no apparent reason, only adding to the nonsensical sensibility of the evening.
O’Doherty’s childhood reflections were his highest points, as he spoke about receiving unrecognizable Star Wars figurines and devising a detective agency with his pals, only to be bogged down by bureaucracy and paperwork, it was worse than ISIS multiplied by sharks, apparently.
Charting across only a few songs, his best was his one urging the audience to laugh when faced with the overwhelming loss and destruction the human experience must endure, which was depressingly funny- as O’Doherty laughed like a manic loon with tears trying to burst through his eye balls.
Lighting at The Forum was thoughtfully utilised, signposting O’Doherty tonal switches between songs. His personal history growing up in Ireland and working on the Irish marriage equality referendum were perhaps his most serious but the comedic payoff hit high enough to make it worth the wait. Warning protein junkies to avoid mixing the powder with white wine – creating as he says ‘chardon-whey’.
The only complaint that could be directed at We Are All In The Gutter… is that the audience would have liked to stay in the gutter much longer.
David O’Doherty will be performing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 24 March- 16 April 2016. More info here.