Fringe Review: David O’Doherty

David O’Doherty at The Pleasance Courtyard

A Jaws era Steven Spielberg’ is the bearded 2013 re-branding of Dubliner David O’Doherty. On this form, perhaps the better comparison would be with a Billy Connolly in his late-seventies heyday.

O’Doherty first came to Edinburgh in the late-nineties – even won an award in 2008 – and is now at the height of his allure, at that stage before it becomes too hard to get a ticket and he gets a little tired of his own success; or is that too cynical? This is observation comedy at its best. If Michael McIntyre is an All Bar One then David O’Doherty is the little Bistro that serves great Belgian beer and the exquisite goat’s cheese and walnut salad.




The electric keyboard and lilting Irish accent are the hardware, but it’s his unique ability to look at society and the human condition that gets the big laughs. The comedy is multi-faceted too, “dreaming of a Shark and a Kitten, a Shitten.” On being engaged by a Neo-Nazi; “I was Fuhrerious”, and yes David, if there is ‘an award for the best Nazi joke of 2013’; you should probably win.

But O’Doherty manages to deliver his swearing and explicit jokes in a completely inoffensive manner. He has a charm and wisdom, not to mention an ability to inject insightful social and political comment. Starbucks and Amazon are shot down at regular intervals. The greatest subject of his angst is his former hero Lance Armstrong, though he is used as more of a prop for the self-deprecation of O’Doherty- a firm believer in the miracle of “The strong-armed w*&%er”.

Woven throughout the show is an alternative look at our society. O’Doherty presents a prism for the audience to laugh at him and ourselves; “people putting inspiration quotes on facebook; 1st sign of a breakdown, closely followed by those training for a Triathlon”. He changes gear from tales of the old man in Dublin, dressed up to buy sausages, to ‘his friend’ getting amorous with himself, on a bike, at 5am, on the way home form a nightclub.

In writing- well this writing- O’Doherty may not be the first name you think of when asked what the best act at the Festival is this year, but perhaps he should be. This is a quality hour; book up before it sells out.





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