Review by Graham Finney
Dara O’ Briain will be a familiar name to those of you who have seen him appear on topical TV show Mock The Week or any of the “nerdy science shows” on TV. The Irishman is visiting Leeds as part of his current tour Voice Of Reason and, on this Bank Holiday Sunday, he admits that he’s finding the combination of half-dressed youngsters and spandex-clad men on bikes packing out the city somewhat scary. For the next two hours, O’Briain demonstrates why he is one of the top UK stand-ups with a performance that is simply brilliant.
While there is clearly a theme running through the show, the first half of the night sees the Irishman veering off wherever things take him. From problems with the builders to his dislike of dinner parties to becoming an internet meme after one of his many appearances with Professor Brian Cox on one of his numerous science shows, O’ Briain rattles through the first half at a furious pace. A routine about technology in the home and virtual reality and pornography sees the Irish comic heading off to the sound of a packed venue roaring with laughter behind him.
The second half takes a more structured approach as Dara discusses Brexit, Donald Trump, relationship struggles, the terror attacks in London and a brilliant routine about his trip to the doctors. As with the first half, O’Briain delivers his stories at a breathtaking pace setting thing up to deliver the killer punchline before you have had time to prepare yourself for where the story is heading.
However, where he really stands apart from his fellow comics is in his ability to drag you into a story then knock you out with a reference to a routine from earlier in the show. It’s something he does absolutely effortlessly throughout the show meaning that you’ve really got to be paying attention if you don’t want to miss a single joke. As if to cement his place as one of the UK’s top comics, he tidies the whole routine up during the encore leaving you in no doubt that you’ve spent the last two hours in the company of one of comedies finest acts.