Irish comic adapts to local scene

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July 7, 2013

Dylan Moran
Produced by Westbeth Entertainment and Mike Delamont
Farquhar Auditorium, June 30

Reviewed By Curran Dobbs

I was not sure what to expect of Dylan Moran’s show at the Farquhar Auditorium at the University of Victoria. I had never seen Moran outside of Shaun of the Dead and had never seen him do stand-up comedy. I admit I could have researched him more on Youtube but my hypothesis, valid or not, was that going in a little bit blind would help prevent establishing bias.

Moran began his set with the Canada jokes (and a few American jokes because, if you’re going to make jokes about Canada, America will enter it sooner or later). He managed to squeeze a Rob Ford joke in there. It’s a common tactic for touring comics to make with the local humour, and it wasn’t a bad thing here. He would get bigger laughs later on when the audience was warmed up.

The rest of his show was predominantly social commentary with topics ranging from science vs. religion, guns, technology, politics (left and right comparisons), pop culture, age, evolution, and gender. The overarching theme of the evening was escapism. I’m guessing he is probably aware of the irony of discussing escapism at a comedy show.

Throughout the show, Moran read the audience, asking us at one point whether we leaned more towards science or religion, getting the sense that we veered more towards the left politically and adapted his comedy to fit the audience. At one point, he mentioned that his Irish upbringing made Conservatism part of who he was, stating that if he witnessed an Irish Catholic Cardinal in an argument with a scientist, he’d instinctively side with the one not dressed like a wizard. Reading a crowd is a comedian’s job–and he did so brilliantly.

Occasionally, the jokes came too quickly for me: I was  not used to his heavy accent and missed,what he  said. Given the laughs from the rest of the audience,  others did now share my own hearing problem.

The next time Dylan Moran is in your area, I suggest you catch him. Tickets were moderately priced but affordable.

Curran Dobbs is a writer for The Derwin Blanshard Extremely Classy Sunday Evening Programme and a stand up comedian.

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