'In this way I shall preserve many things that would otherwise be lost in oblivion. I shall find daily employment for myself, which will save me from indolence and help to keep off the spleen, and I shall lay up a store of entertainment for my after life.'

For James Boswell posts please follow the labels on the right.

This blog mainly contains reviews from the Edinburgh Festivals from 2008 to 2010 which I wrote for the Edinburgh Festivals Magazine. These reviews cover everything from comedy to contemporary dance; children's theatre to Handel.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Carl Donnelly: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Carl Donnelly? Review

Carl Donnelly: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Carl Donnelly?

Asked why they came to see Donnelly, one member of the audience admitted it was a random choice. Indeed, not one member of the crowd admitted to being lured in by his slick media campaign. Fliers, posters, adverts: all for nothing. 

So much for Public Relations. Yet, unlike the vast majority of young ‘up and coming’ random Fringe choices, Donnelly is actually quite funny. He also delights in his own jokes as much as the audience do, which is a refreshing thing to see in an era when dead pan stand-up comics are looking increasingly jaded. 

No slicked back hair or dull grey suits for Donnelly. Instead, resembling a younger Krusty the Clown wearing a pair of NHS glasses, he assures us – laughing at the statement - ‘this is actually my own head’. Good to know. But he doesn’t rely on his own novelty for long to illicit laughs. Donnelly is a class act at telling anecdotes, getting the right balance between coherency and random asides. None of these mainly personal stories are particularly unique, but he can squeeze a great deal of laughter out of the most mundane realties of every day existence.

If Donnelly continues to produce such a high standard of stand up, it’s unlikely he will go on being just another random Fringe choice for comedy fans. 

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