Patrick Monahan: Cowboys And Iranians

I went to watch this show at the end of a long day of an even longer week. Much to my shame, I expected to find it a bit of a struggle to stay awake and a real effort to concentrate; not through any fault of the act, just where it had been placed in my reviewing schedule. An hour later I left exhausted – but only from laughing so much – and utterly exhilarated.From his first hilarious joke about his specifications in choosing his venue, Monahan knows exactly how to work his audience. He clearly adores what he does and we cannot help but be swept away in his euphoria and enjoyment. His Irish lilt and charming manner are thoroughly enchanting and the jokes come quick and fast, with barely enough time to recover from one laugh before the next one comes. His style is so relaxed and conversational that you'd love to sit and have a drink with him one evening and just watch the comedy unfold in front of you.In this piece he has the running thought of asking the audience who, out of all their acquaintances, they will still be friends with at the age of 80, and, along the way, sets out his map of the secrets to a successful relationship. It is a relatively linear journey but one that requires much audience interaction, and this is where the real magic unfolds. Monahan is a master of working with his audience, having fabulous interaction and really using the answers given to initiate new areas of his routine. This is a very organic hour as he has a superb way of conversing with individuals in the audience which is just as entertaining as the rest of the routine. Monahan constantly remembers and refers back to these individuals throughout the show, but the laughs are never at their expense. His aim is not to embarrass or humiliate anyone, but more to include them wherever he can. On this occasion, a 14-year old boy sat in the front row became a starring feature of the show, whilst a more senior duo provided the finale with great aplomb.It is as if Monahan has a skeleton of the show prepared but only with an audience present does he actually get to create the full deal, and it is this spontaneity and freshness that really gives him the edge over other stand-up comics. By the end of the show, a woman was literally crying with laughter and the audience really didn't want to let him go. Even if you're suffering from Festival Fatigue, make sure you don't miss out on this show; Patrick Monahan will cure you of everything and keep you chuckling until dawn.

Reviews by Damian Sandys

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The Blurb

New stand-up show from international award-winning comedian. Regular TV appearances on Bafta-winning 'Paul O'Grady Show'! 'The funniest show in Edinburgh 2008' (Martin Kelner, Guardian). 'Twinkle toed, mischievous ... Monahan raised the roof' (Sun).

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