Danny O'Brien: RaconTour
- Brian Donaldson
- 18 August 2017
A bumpy family story veers off on a road to nowhere
Danny O'Brien is the latest in a very long line of Irish craic-meisters, vivid storytellers with a devilish spark, a glint in the eye and a knack for the absurdist and/or emotional imagery. However, despite his frenetic energy and a self-confidence that borders on cockiness, O'Brien's true tale doesn't quite have the head-on impact that he clearly believes it should have. As the jaunty 80s strains of '99 Red Balloons' send us out into a late night, we leave with several springs in our step rather than being weighed down by the heavy heart which RaconTour's rawest material should have warranted.
Beginning with barely watchable motorbike-cam footage tracing his long and winding journey to the Underbelly on a Honda he inherited from his uncle, O'Brien revs up into his main tale: his non-relationship with a largely absent drug-addicted father. But the comic wants to cover almost too much ground rather than sticking to his family story, and there are anecdotes aplenty about the oddballs he has encountered down the years: the accident-prone brothers and people with wilfully weird nicknames among them.
The Irish comic has plenty to offload in his show about family, Catholic rituals and motorcycles, but the serious material too often bumps up against the jovial anecdotes rather than offering a smooth, complementary ride.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 27 Aug, 10.20pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).