Dylan Moran – New Theatre, Oxford.
As Jimmy Carr once said “He has a beautiful, lilting Irish voice” and it’s true, he was as beautiful and lilting as ever.
He has the rare talent of walking on stage and already having the audience smiling and laughing before he’s even opened his mouth. Maybe it’s his famous (or infamous) “Irish hair?” Maybe it’s the cunning twinkle in his eye that tells you that he’s about to spend the next couple of hours ranting and philosophising in a way you wish you could.
Of course, despite having run the comedy circuit for many years and having won coveted awards such as the Perrier, Dylan came to prominence through TV shows such as Black Books and films including Shaun of the Dead and Run, Fat Boy, Run. It’s these characters that seem to have stereotyped him as the slightly bumbling, drunk, angry man, where half the audience expects him to randomly throw his shoe at someone’s head. He doesn’t throw a shoe of course, but I don’t think I’d blame him, after spending half an hour in the foyer listening to people discuss their favourite Black Books episodes.
The strangest thing about the evening, was standing in said foyer and being told that the DVD of the London gig could be pre-ordered (it’s released November, the Amazon link can be found at the bottom of this page.) The fact that he hasn’t even got to the London part of the tour was found to be slightly strange by several audience members, and honestly, myself included. As the man next to me said quietly “Let’s hope he doesn’t die before that then” Charming.
So, without giving too much away, he starts in his own unique way by stating that he never knows how to start, before neatly taking us directly into what appears to be, the middle of whatever tangent of thought is in his head at the time.
He covers a range of topics, flipping between why the royal wedding and killing of Osama Bin Laden is simply the fairytale the world is looking for, his relationships with his children and the similarity between Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (I nearly squealed) and being made to go to dinner parties.
Well timed pauses and looks of bemusement are added on occasion. Has he really forgotten himself and lost his train of thought, or is it all a ploy to add an edge of vulnerability to his dishevled persona and keep us wanting more?
Returning after the interval with a slab of chocolate in his hand (which was later thrown to an audience member) and he carried on where he left off…
…and then he finished, I personally felt rather too abruptly, the running time was just under two hours (including interval) but I could have sat and listened to him for at least another hour, although I’m sure he would have had disagreed.
At the stage door, he was gracious and seemed genuinely appreciative to the dozen or so of us who had gone round to see him. A quick asking of my name, a “Thanks ever so much for coming” and a swirl of a personalised signature (despite being written upside down) on my ticket and I was happy. Unlike one girl who seemed rather put out when he politely refused a photo (which, in case you didn’t know, he hates.) He offered to sign something instead, but she hadn’t kept her ticket and so walked about like a spoilt child.
He had no issue with having a chat and actually apologised if he “was a bit off tonight” as he was still trying out material (presumably ready for the DVD recording) and also thought he might be coming down with a cold.
So, how much of his act will change between nights or for the DVD? Your guess is as good as mine, but however it turns out you know it’ll be grand.