Shane Todd: Holywood to Hollywood
Irishman's observational schtick raises its game with personal anecdotes
Unstarry but also brazenly fame-hungry, this down-to-earth Northern Irish stand-up became fixated on never once being asked to turn on the Christmas lights in his home town of Holywood. Outraged at the injustice, despite a seven-year career and not to mention a prominent part in a flop zombie movie about sectarianism in Belfast (he's proudly brandishing the DVD as evidence), Shane Todd went on a mission to raise his profile.
Accompanied by a friend, he made the pilgrimage to Hollywood, in the hope that they'd come home with fame and fortune, but discovered their accents meant it was a challenge even ordering a cup of tea. He's pally and clearly comfortable behind the mic, while his fish-out-of-water anecdotes work well, as do his tales about teenage dabblings in smoking salvia and tripping balls in front of his dad.
But the observational patter raises its game when he puts a bit of edge on; his straight-faced section about ruthlessly dumping his real dad (a devoted, single parent) for his new, flash stepdad (admittedly 'a bit of a dick', but he's loaded) gets a big laugh and adds depth and intrigue to his otherwise squeaky clean, nice guy persona.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 28 Aug (not 15), 10.15pm, £8–£9.50 (£7–£8.50).