All the way from Ireland, David O’Doherty has travelled a long way with his show for the 2019 MICF. He brings with him a style and flavour of comedy that is mildly nerdy, energetic, and “quirky” (the keyboard helps). Bringing an eclectic range of jokes and skits to the show, it is a well-paced performance, but ultimately not greatest of his shows in his career. Still, there are good laughs, and it is a fun night out.
The jokes were, on the whole, funny. Aside from the inevitable misstep (every comedy show has a joke that doesn’t elicit audience-wide laughter), and the somewhat peculiar ending, the audience did laugh – and laugh well. His energy onstage was something that could not be criticised either. Although it did go from 0 – 100 in terms of stage movement sometimes, nevertheless the sudden outbursts and prancing across the stage made for enjoyable stage presence.
The real problem was the venue. The Forum is definitely an excellent venue – curious aesthetics aside. The problem is, O’Doherty’s show requires a more intimate setting – venue choosing the aesthetic and all that. Especially further away, his voice was quite faint, and his facial expressions were not present – whereas a smaller venue where he could whip up the audience to sing or clap along would suit his style a bit more. His keyboard was also a bit faint. Unlike comedians such as Tim Minchin, who utilise the old grand piano (which can fill an auditorium with sound), his keyboard, much like his voice, seemed a bit thin on the ground. In a venue of the scale of the Forum, it would have been better to have stronger microphone, or at least someone should’ve adjusted the levels at the sound desk.
As a final note, it ought to be said that for audience members it is generally a faux pas to chat throughout a performance. Aside from being rude to the performer, it is distracting to everyone around the disruptive elements. Should you desire to gossip over wines, there are an abundance of bars and clubs of varying levels of grandeur for you to attend – the middle of a show is hardly the place do such things – so kindly bring some audience etiquette when you sign up for a show.
Overall, although the audience were laughing, probably not the greatest performance. The jokes were still good, and the showmanship couldn’t be overly critiqued, but it did not seem to fill the room with raucous laughter. That being said, it is not a bad show in any way shape or form – a grand way to spend an evening.
Ultrasound is on at 7:15pm at the Forum until 21 April as part of the 2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets are available from the MICF website or at the venue.