Culture critic Madeline McInnis reviews Mindgame at the Belgrade, Coventry.Written by mmcinnis on 16th March 2018
Preview: Dara Ó Briain’s ‘The Voice of Reason’ tour
Culture critic Ruth Horsburgh previews Dara Ó Briain's 'Voice of Reason' tour ahead of an engagement at the Birmingham Hippodrome.
One of the country’s most popular and well-loved comedians, Dara Ó Briain is a regular on our TV screens; from comedy panel shows, including Mock the Week and Dara Ó Briain’s Go 8 Bit, to exploring and discussing scientific conundrums in Stargazing Live. You will also recognise him from a recent Sunday night staple - Robot Wars. But now Ó Briain is heading back to the stage, with a major UK tour entitled Voice of Reason. The Guardian has called his set “a masterclass in intelligent, no-frills stand-up”. Known for his wit and intellect, his stand-up show promises to be an entertaining night of astute observation and reflection.
“'One of the country’s most popular and well-loved comedians, Dara Ó Briain...is heading back to the stage, with a major UK tour entitled Voice of Reason.'
In a recent interview, Ó Briain explains how his passion and enjoyment of stand-up has stayed strong, despite the variety of work now offered to him: “Doing stand-up is a euphoric experience. The great thing is the anticipation. You’re thinking, ‘You’re going to love this next bit!’”. Ó Briain ensures that each of his shows is unique, and he enjoys engaging with his audience. The venues and locations he visits are often worked into his act. “It’s wonderful to create local jokes that repay three or seven or even 12 years later. When I play Coventry, for instance, there are always packets of crisps on the stage. That comes from an audience interaction I had 12 years ago. […] Back then, I was chatting with a guy in the audience who worked for a crisp company. I did a joke about it, and when I came back on stage after the interval, there were 12 packets of crisps waiting for me on stage! Many people in Coventry remember that. So that’s the reason why the crisps are still there.” It is this warm attention to detail and familiarity that Ó Briain brings to his shows, and that keeps audiences entertained and coming back for more.
Voice of Reason will explore a range of topics and issues, including the minefield that is online fake news. In his show, Ó Briain will discuss his own experience of this. “I go into the madness of this story about these things that are supposed to have happened to me. The producers of this fake news site have filled in some details. […] But it’s still so ludicrous. The site pops up next to features headlined, ‘She has discovered the secret that dentists don’t want you to know’, and, ‘20 stars whose lives have been ravaged by drugs.’ In one of those, they put a picture of Chris O’Dowd beside a picture of Shane McGowan!”. What a picture that would make! Ó Briain draws out the funny side of the chaos that is 21st-century living.
“'Ó Briain draws out the funny side of the chaos that is 21st-century living...'
Ó Briain has received widespread praise for his stand-up performances. "The Irishman’s way of handling his audience, comedic neurons firing away by the billion a second, has to be seen to be believed” was how The Daily Telegraph described his set. So, on that advice, I am eagerly anticipating seeing and reviewing Ó Briain’s Voice of Reason. Watch this space!
You can see Dara Ó Briain at the Birmingham Hippodrome from Thursday 1st March – Saturday 3rd March. Ó Briain is touring across the country until late 2018.
For more information, please visit: www.daraobriain.com