What a discovery !! I had seen Dara O'Briain on TV a number of times, guesting on shows such as QI and lately hosting the often very funny "Mock The Week". So I was looking forward to looking at the DVD of his show at the Theatre Royal.
One critic, writing in The Guardian, and quoted on the DVD cover, describes the show as "A master-class in intelligent stand-up". That is no exaggeration.
We watched it for the first time as a group of 4 friends, without any particular expectations, and we quickly went from smiling to chuckling to uncontrollable laughter. The group effect obviously helped, but I have watched it since on my own and I was soon laughing out loud again. This guy is really good - very, very funny indeed.
It is clear form his TV appearances that Dara O'Briain has a very sharp wit - he is quick on his feet, inventing new material as we listen. This performance shows him doing precisely that - and so well.
There is a lot of interaction with the audience. (Note - very important for the more retiring of us to avoid the front few rows if going to one of his shows !). This interaction is clearly totally genuine. We are watching a virtuoso comic at work. By bouncing conversation and quips back and forth with members of the audience (and never unkindly) he creates exceptional original comedy while also seamlessly including large, well rehearsed segments from his normal repertoire.
Watch out for his "driving lesson experiences" as applicable to his sex life, and watch out for the piece on "tattoos and body-piercing". Even thinking of that as I write this makes me smile broadly.
A wonderful performance. Highly recommended.