Dara Ó Briain

Dara is very popular at the moment – two consecutive nights at the Reading hexagon and we still only managed balcony seats. Of course, two nights sounds grand but Jimmy Carr (local lad) does two or three nights here every year so Dara still has some way to go.

I’ve recently finished Dara’s book “Tickling the English” – highly recommended – so it was interesting to watch the documented flow of the show in action. First job is to check out who’s in the front row, questioning only men so as not to frighten anyone with his imposing demeanour.

Today the front row contained a doughnut-maker from Weston-super-Mare, a house-building carpenter, and a hoist salesman. Dara was glad as he was dreading a row of I.T. people – maybe that was why 8 seats were empty in the first half? Unfortunately he had advised people to make things up if they needed to so our doughnut-maker was in fact an I.T. man in disguise who managed to carry a very convincing tale.

Then we’re onto jokey stories and it’s still early so Dara is talking at 400 mph. I pride myself on being able to understand the English language but I’m struggling to keep up. Luckily he’s getting on a bit so he can’t keep the speed up indefinitely – maybe in 10 years’ time he’ll have slowed down to a gallop.

One of the highlights was his attack on the disaster movie 2012. Although I didn’t study Theoretical Physics at University (whereas Dara did), I still went mad at the time in the cinema when it was explained that the destruction of the world was kicked off by mutating neutrinos heating up the Earth’s core. With a $200 million budget, why didn’t they spare even a bent nickel on plot? It felt good that there was a kindred spirit out there fighting the good fight against bad science.

Another which had me laughing hard was the surgeon bear – won’t go further as it would be a spoiler.

At the end, Dara goes through the faux exit routine and thanks all the audience that contributing their stories (those that dreamed Noel Edmonds was forcing their car off their road or had saved the life of a soldier dressed in a cloud costume that was on fire).

All in all, a great show although it’s hard to get that across. As the man says, you had to be there.

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