It was a dark and stormy night…
David O’Doherty had flown into Edinburgh that morning to kick off his latest show – in the biggest venue I’ve seen him in for the festival – and he had the crowd as soon as he stepped out onto the stage. I think we’d spent the 15 minutes before fondly eying the small keyboard propped lazily up against a simple chair.
My overriding memory of his very funny show last year, David O’Doherty will try to fix everything, was that here was one of those comedians who were blessed with intelligence but condemned to battle for happiness. In this year’s show O’Doherty tackles that battle head on.
The alternative title for this routine must surely be David O’Doherty and the Quest for Happiness. Despite the inherently sad implications of the story – I laughed at it. Everyone did.
What you get for the hour is some heartfelt observations from a man on a genuine battle to find happiness. This isn’t some hippy quest. It’s funny as O’Doherty laces the quest with observational humour, quick wit, plenty of self-depreciation and cleverly placed jokes. The whole show is wrapped up in a surprising amount of emotion and energy. He spent more than a few minutes rolling out on the stage. Not the first time I’ve seen him do that but this year’s squirming around on the floor was the most dramatic. He keeps the audience on their toes.
It was actually O’Doherty’s ability to blend music into his comedy that caught my attention the first time I encountered him. There’s music in this routine too. Music in the unique style of David O’Doherty and therefore impossible to compare to anything else other than other O’Doherty performances. While I think Checked Everything might be the funniest hour I’ve had from him, I think the musical aspect of the show doesn’t beat last year’s. The bar was set high. The exception was the very last song of the night which I’ll call Moany Lisa.
Overall; this is a thoroughly enjoyable and funny hour with the emotional Irish comedian. It’s classic O’Doherty with the emphasis firmly being on the one man with a small keyboard. You should expect broadband battles, mouse sized tragedy, infinite knives and the health benefits of cycling.
There’s no doubt. Fans should fight for places in the queue.