Delamere Mortal is a stand-up show with a difference. The conceit is its basis around the comic’s two appearances as a teenager on mid 90s Irish schools quiz show Blackboard Jungle. Delamere, now at the ripe old age of 33, compares his life as a sixteen and a half year old answering bizarre questions on a quiz show to now in order to determine who is better at numerous self-set categories, often via studying excerpts from Blackboard Jungle projected on a screen.
Of course, in practice such a conceit cannot dominate the entire set: much of his stand-up spins way off from the topic. His first ten minutes are comprised of some impressive crowd work that he harked back to throughout the show, justifying it as material and not merely an absence of same.
His good natured delivery in his undulating Dublin accent was a highlight and brought to life his amusing if periodically a little safe material that occurred in the gaps between the clips, which where the real highlights. The show’s interactive elements were hilarious. Segues into fuzzy 1990s quiz show where Delamere would play clips and immediately jibe at his younger self’s haircut or his friends’ expressions were excellently timed and beautifully observed. Similarly a section where he imposed his own version of the quiz show upon audience members to prove how unfair the questions had been, replete with compliments for his favoured side and savage mockery for the other, was masterful.
In all, he gave an assured and impressive performance with jovial if a little middle-of-the-road stand-up, but it was his resourcefulness with features such as the slide shows that marked him out as a cut above similar comedians. Delamere Mortal proves Neil Delamere as one to look out for in the future.