David O’Doherty – Whoa is me (IRL)
April 12th
RMIT Capitol Theatre
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
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Comedians from Australia and around the world are stepping back into the circuit at 2022’s Melbourne Comedy Festival.

Is there any better way to lament the events of the last two years than with a funny Irish guy and a tiny keyboard?

If you’ve felt the heavy weight of post pandemic life then David O’Doherty is here to provide some comedic insights into the low lights and the few highlights the global pandemic had to offer.

His latest show Woah is me (IRL) was developed after his livelihood was stripped away from him over this period and as the title suggests, things got pretty woah quite quickly.

If it sounds like the catchphrase of teenagers then that could very well be, because as O’Doherty explains over the hour we are with him, his life went backward and forward in motion all at the same time.

On the cusp of lockdown restrictions, O’Doherty found himself fresh out of a relationship, and living with his immunocompromised parents on the remote island of Achill, off the West coast of Ireland.

What he thought would be a short term excursion to the place his grandmother once lived, ended up being an eight month lockdown as Ireland attempted to halt the wave of COVID infection. O’Doherty finds much humour in this reversal of the child/carer role and is glad to have an opportunity to find out more about his parents before the stories are gone forever.

These observations are punctuated by musical interludes, where we pass into the sonic buzz of his tiny keyboard, and songs of all musical genres are crafted around childhood memories and lockdown neighbours with obnoxiously loud motorbikes.

A show highlight sees O’Doherty recount regular excursions to a football field for banned but socially distanced catch ups that keep him sane during one of Dublin’s lockdowns. The story ends with beer, a bush, and a police flashlight.

O’Doherty is engaging from the outset, he commands the stage and charms the audience into a steady roll of laughter. He is laid back on stage, sporting a cap and a faded t-shirt as a trademark look. O’Doherty has keen observation skills and his anecdotes are full of dramatic touch points which he teases into witty remarks on personal hardship, adolescent manners and surviving pandemics. He’s wry, fast and always willing to be the centre of the joke. It seems like Melbourne audiences are just happy to have him back in front of them, in real life.

Tara Egan

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