A Kitchen Nightmare

There are only two jokes in A Kitchen Nightmare. 1) “Irish stereotypes are funny, aren't they?” and 2) Gordon Ramsay. As is probably clear just from this brief description, it's barely enough to carry pub banter, never mind a 50 minute show.

The two jokes that underpin this show reveal themselves to have little meat on them.

A Kitchen Nightmare tells of the trials and tribulations of Irish Premier Mick Connors – a string vest wearing, fist swinging, beer-loving Irish man who's looking for that perfect someone to be his long term sparring partner. The set-up is reasonably bland and the delivery, much like Mick's preferred fighting style, is a frantic, bleary-eyed mess.

For the entirety of the show, most jokes stem from old and forgotten Irish stereotypes. The lead duo take on the roles of supporting cast members from My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, and although the occasional decent gag is derived from these characters, it wears thin pretty quick. There's only so many times an innocent, everyday item can be re-appropriated to be about fighting, and even fewer times an Irish man saying “shite” can be funny. Facebook becomes Fightbook, the song He Needs Me from Oliver! becomes a pining for a good bloke to beat up, and then, for thinly veiled reasons which I assume were written just to get Liam Hourican’s advertised impersonation of the famed chef in, Gordon Ramsay turns up.

Liam Hourican's impression is good and amusing for three or four minutes. But the Ramsay routine takes up a good 20 minutes of the show, as he swaggers about dishing out insults and jumping on his toes. Throughout the show there are videoed vignettes (including a bizarre scene in which Peter Stringfellow goes free-running round South East London) which are received with varying degrees of success. However, cutting to a video of Hourican's Ramsay laying on the abuse just after you've seen him do it in the flesh seems redundant, to say the least.

Smiles were worn throughout the show and a few of the gags were genuinely funny. Under close scrutiny, however, the two jokes that underpin this show reveal themselves to have little meat on them.

Reviews by Andy Currums

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The Blurb

Fightin' Irishman Mick Connor is desperate to settle down into a long-term feud. All his brothers and most of his cousins are already sorted, poor Mick just can't find the right person. His search takes him into the disparate realms of bare-knuckle boxing, am-dram and TV cookery shows, where he meets a host of extraordinary characters, most notably celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. An exhilarating romp from comedian and impressionist Liam Hourican, as seen on Channel 4's Very Important People, The IT Crowd and RTE's The Savage Eye. 'A hilarious evening of fun' (WesternParkGazette.co.uk).