David O'Doherty: Ultrasound
  • By Kate Nora
  • |
  • 8th Aug 2019
  • |
  • ★★★★★

There’s only one person who could compel people from their homes on a day when the rain is coming down in sheets and thunder crashes less than three Mississippi’s away. In the eye of the storm sits the man of the hour holding a novelty electric keyboard. If this is the apocalypse, David O’Doherty, like the band on the Titanic, is ready to play us out.

Breezing through light-hearted topics like Brexit, the Irish famine, and rectum burning, O’Doherty’s mixture of cynicism and boyish charm is irresistible.

An Irish comedy legend known for his use of musical storytelling, and a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe, O’Doherty has been on the scene since 1998 and shows no signs of slowing down. This latest show, Ultrasound, is basically his inner monologue performed in front of a live audience. In between sets he tells funny stories, or maybe in between funny stories he plays music—hard to say for sure.

He ambles onto the stage in such a casual manner that it takes us a few seconds to realise the show has started, but once he gets going it’s clear this man is a professional. O’Doherty is an easy comedian to like because he is, on a basic level, a chatty man. He shares life experiences that might happen to anyone, but in his capable hands they are transformed into comedy gold. His humorous observations and pithy quips come so quickly that ripples of laughter spread through the room like a Mexican wave depending on which punchline each member of the audience decides to focus on. Whether or not he has done this routine 100 times, each wisecrack feels so spontaneous that we can easily imagine it’s brand new material.

Breezing through light-hearted topics like Brexit, the Irish famine, and rectum burning, O’Doherty’s mixture of cynicism and boyish charm is irresistible. His jokes manage to be both incredibly specific and incredibly relatable at the same time, while his keyboard chimes in every now and then as a sort of hype man. He says he wants to make us feel alive, instead we are dying of laughter.

It pains me to say that on one point Irish national treasures, David O’Doherty and Ronan Keating, disagree—life isn’t a rollercoaster, it’s the boring queue beforehand. Maybe that’s true. But rest assured, you will not regret waiting in line to see Ultrasound.

Reviews by Kate Nora

Traverse Theatre

Clybourne Park

★★★★
PQA Venues @Riddle's Court

More Myself Than I Am

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

The War of the Worlds

★★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Found Footage Festival: Volume 9

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Two Hearts: The Comeback Tour

★★★★

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

The hairy Enya is delighted to return to Edinburgh with a brand-new show made up of talking and songs played on the plastic keyboard he got for his Confirmation. Once again, he will try to fix everything that is wrong in the world. Spoiler alert: once again he will fail.

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