Renowned for his hugely successful hosting career, primarily for the previously long running favourite, Mock The Week, Dara O'Briain has been touring once again, to share his latest stand up routine with audiences of thousands globally. With a multitude of works in his repertoire, the hit comedian is now performing his show, Dara O'Briain: So... Where Were We? detailing a range of tales from preposterous to personal.
Using the whole two hours to his advantage, packing it to the brim with brilliance, Dara is welcomed to a rapturous applause, knowing that everyone is there only to spend that time with him. Reviewed at the Brighton Dome, the venue poses the perfect place for comedians to showcase their talents. Once tuned in to that thick Irish accent and linguistic nuances (eh and errs!), his act begins with some comparisons to previous audiences, and how reactions to certain routines (primarily Brexit, and British-specific content) are received around the world, from Canadians to Germans, testing the waters for our venue. Impossible not to mention the bizarre history-altering last few years we've all had, we hear about Dara's airport sprinting and tour cancelling events; then the fun of homeschooling his children too, teaching them to read.
When picking on some front rowers, a pair strategically placed between two empty seats on this occasion, Steve the site manager of a sea defence base on the Isle of Wight, and his IT sidekick mate Simon ended up being the perfect talking point for an eminently attacking hypothetical dolphin army, as Dara kicks imaginary torpedos at them... he can run with anything to make it ridiculously funny. With a psychologist and (evil) economist twin sisters behind, bringing their horticultural journalist friend along too, there is always a joke to made with these epic career choices. His rapid quick fire comebacks and sweary fillers keep viewers engaged, however mad the narrative.
Post-interval, it is the second half that really turns the show into something special. While beginning by telling us about his dodgy knee and various hilarious physiotherapy anecdotes, a segway into a large part of the performance detailing Dara's experience with being adopted - something many of us were likely not to have known. Discussing Irish adoption laws and the changes to these that have only very recently been implemented, it is fascinating to hear about the impact of these, particularly on someone who those watching admire. His storytelling becomes gripping, and even through the difficulty of discovery about his birth family, the seriousness is in blend meaning the honesty doesn't come without humour. Although you don't expect to come to a stand up gig to learn on your night out, this unique style of material gives an insight into the performer - their artistry and personal life - which draws you in, making you feel closer to the act and what it has to offer, an even nicer experience when they are as appreciative as Dara clearly is. Coming out (or not) and coming full circle with a mention of an earlier hyperbole from his mum about falling down a drain, there is a satisfying conclusion to round up the evening.
In all, Dara's new content is about more than just comedy in the best way possible. It's unsurprising that the masses continue to flock to see his work as it's a refreshing piece, with many major laugh-out-loud moments throughout - Dara O'Briain: So... Where Were We? is a memorable night of entertainment.