Organ Freeman (4 stars)

This article is from 2017

Organ Freeman

Moving and unexpected account of a complex moral dilemma

What would you do if you were asked to donate a kidney? It's a moral dilemma that many of us may have considered, but for Jarlath Regan, this rhetorical question became a reality when his brother was in need of a transplant. Organ Freeman is the story of Regan's journey to becoming an organ donor which unpacks his thought process, doubts and concerns as well as the ultimate rationale behind his decision to fly out to the US and go through with the procedure.

The show may begin with a fairly standard routine, with conventional stand-up jokes about his young son, marriage and annoyance at not being the favourite in his family. But where the narrative leads is entirely unexpected, with all-round hilarity intersecting with emotional and stirring sections of internal conflict and tension.

There is trauma at the heart of this show, with Regan revealing some hard truths about his family that are tough to swallow, even with the many punchlines along the way. But his ability to navigate this story with such finesse and heart, without removing any of the humour, is impressive. By the end, the reasoning behind the more obvious comic observations made at the beginning becomes clear and you're left feeling moved and inspired by this honest account of a profoundly complex experience.

Just the Tonic at The Tron, until 27 Aug, 7.40pm, £5 or Pay What You Want

Jarlath Regan: Organ Freeman

A selfish man is forced to reassess his entire life when his best friend needs a kidney in Regan's latest stand-up comedy show.