'I'm more British than you' - undoubtedly a bold statement for a tagline. It is featured under the heading Erich McIlroy - The Brit Identity, the debut show from the comedian. This political romp serves up some left leaning comedy asking ‘What does it take to be British, other than the right documentation?’ As it turns out, a lot.
His delivery style is a calm, solemn dictation that is truncated by hilarious bursts of enthusiasm. These bursts tend to bring with them character voices or pitch change. These work as a perfect foil to inject impetus at key moments of the show. It was a joy to be an audience member for McIlroy as you are never left behind. Even the least politically minded person could enjoy his expertly told assassinations of different nationalities. This was my favourite element and served as the main artery connecting the different stories and observations in the show. There is also a sprinkling of edgier comedy thrown into the mix, as jokes span from UKIP to 9/11, but they never probe too far into the dark realms of shock humour.
McIlroy expertly revealed What makes a Brit a Brit. Apparently it is the art of the comedy roast, or less formally, taking the piss. McIlroy perfects this art in his show. An American poking fun at different nationalities is usually a cocktail for disaster. This is combated by McIlroy in the subtleties he observes of each nation's populace, particularly the English. He derides English behaviour in our stereotypical natural habitats: airports, pubs and the marital home. Yes, these are all topics that have been done to death on the comedy circuit, but he brings a new zest to them.
In his debut fringe show the American McIlroy laments how he will never be accepted as English due to his American heritage. However, his masterful hour of piss taking demonstrates he is a fine English comic.