Christian O'Connell: Breaking Dad

Here’s the thing: if you are going to base a stand up show around ways in which you and your father are different, it had better be something pretty special to avoid falling into cliché.

In a city where stand-up comedy can be found in any room fit for human habitation – and indeed many that are not – you could certainly do better with your time and money.

Sadly, Christian O’Connell fails to produce anything particularly ground-breaking. There are the classic “back in the seventies, men were real men” jokes, interspersed with some fairly standard issue stuff about the difficulties of raising children and maintaining a marriage. We also get some none too surprising material concerning his hatred for the teenage boys who will later date his young daughters which feels a little old. At times, O’Connell’s material is so predictable that you can almost recite his punchlines along with him.

Nonetheless, there are some big laughs here and there, and occasional moments of genuine tenderness. O’Connell is at his best when regaling the audience with personal anecdotes. He, unsurprisingly for a radio DJ, is an excellent storyteller and keeps the audience engaged with his amusing asides. His presence onstage is engaging and his interaction with the audience well judged. There is the impression that, had he a better premise, he could produce an hour’s worth of excellent entertainment. Sadly, however, this set misses the mark.

The show is not awful. Only once or twice did I feel the urge to glance at my watch and there are many amusing moments. But in a city where stand-up comedy can be found in any room fit for human habitation – and indeed many that are not – you could certainly do better with your time and money.

Reviews by Charlotte Ivers

The Caley Bar

Blues and Burlesque: Happy Hour

★★★
Just The Tonic at the Caves

The Church of Zirconium

★★★
Pleasance Dome

Hardeep Singh Kohli: Hardeep Is Your Love

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

10-times Sony Award winning DJ Christian O'Connell (Absolute Radio) returns after his 2013 sold out acclaimed debut. O'Connell is a dad on the edge and if you've ever been a dad/had a dad/known a dad, this is the show for you. A show featuring beloved pet death, pensioner sex advice and the inherent evil of Peppa Pig. **** (Big Issue). **** (Herald). **** (BroadwayBaby.com). 'Smart and funny' (Ricky Gervais). 'Furiously funny' (Guardian). 'A natural, warm and charismatic comedian' (Big Issue). 'O'Connell is as engaging live as he is on air' (Scotsman).

Most Popular See More

Hairspray

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets