Patrick Monahan is an energetic bundle of fun. Right from the outset, he conjures a jolly and upbeat atmosphere that lasts, unwavering, for the entire performance. Predominantly an audience-based show, Monahan crafts the majority of his routine from the stories of his participants whilst weaving in more conventional material. There is no definite structure to the set, so it is fairly difficult to lead the audience smoothly through the show, but the upside of this is that Monahan’s willingness to engage with the audience at any moment endears him immensely.
The sharp wit needed for this style of humour is certainly present but Monahan lacks the creativity of more experienced comedians to play with the audience in unique ways. Much of the comedy arose from participants’ stories themselves as opposed to the way in which Monahan responded. There is every chance that a night will come when the well of anecdotes runs dry and it’s not by any means certain that he will be able to hold the show up to this standard.
Audience participation makes up the stronger part of the show: Monahan looks totally at ease with the crowd and is fearlessly tactile with everyone he approaches. Due to his likability nobody ever seemed uncomfortable, even for the hysterical end section which takes friendly to a whole new level. Less entertaining are the scripted sections of the routine: though containing some intelligent and well-timed punchlines, his energy feels depleted and gives off the vibe that he wants to return to the audience. Less division of effort and more focus on the strong aspects would have sharpened up the banter and encouraged a greater range of ways to engage with the crowd.