Dara O’Briain has stepped onto Australian shores for the first time in 16 years, and Australia is all the better for his being here.
The audience at Hamer Hall very quickly learned that you need a minimum of two espressos to keep up with Dara’s fast-paced comedy (‘I’m Irish! This is how we talk!’), as he leapt through the prerequisite Australia-themed content.
So often jokes based on ‘local’ themes are hit and miss, based on stereotypes, but Dara knew exactly where to hit the non-cliche bits, gently mocking Sydney’s lockout laws ability to be trumped by daylight savings once a year, and the quintessential anger Aussies feel towards the phrase ‘Koala Bear’.
Dara wound through his scripted content magnificently, the entire audience comedic putty laughing heartily along with every joke. Have you ever laughed so hard you needed an asthma puffer? I now have.
As wonderful as the scripted portions of the show were, the audience interaction was the undeniable highlight. They can go wrong so easily, but after three shows of I.T. folk in the front row, Dara hit the jackpot with a gravedigger and a debt collector (partners, of course), a feminist porn producer behind them, and a guide for what must be the smallest tram museum in the world (it’s in Launceston if you want to visit). Honestly, I don’t think any comedian could source and plant that much comedy gold in one audience.
Unfortunately, O’Briain’s trip was a fleeting one, with two shows only in Melbourne before he moved onto Perth. Wherever you are in the world, if you see a Dara O’Briain poster, make sure you get along to see the great man in action.
Jasmin Ashton is a designer, marketer and freelance writer from Melbourne who has a lot of feelings about everything. Find them at @Jasmanna.