Comedy Review: David O'Doherty @ Greenwich Comedy Festival

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 87 months ago
Comedy Review: David O'Doherty @ Greenwich Comedy Festival

davidodoherty.jpg David O'Doherty is, perhaps, an unlikely award winner (he was the 2008 if.com Edinburgh winner). He's even, perhaps, an unlikely comedian. Low key, quietly spoken, unkempt in an emo fashion, O'Doherty is not a man who would do well on Mock the Week. Given the way Mock the Week is going, this is a recommendation.

He bounces on stage and his preamble consists of several minutes discussing the odd layout and lighting of the Spiegel Tent (a mirrored former cabaret tent from the 1920s) before breaking out the "very low energy musical whimsy" for which he's most well known. Played on a miniature 1980s Yamaha keyboard and more spoken than sung, he deftly breaks Shakira's heart before improvising a bike repair advice session that turns into an exploration of the habits of European cyclists. Putting the tiny piano to one side, he also unleashes an angry side that seems at odds with his unassuming persona, but the gutwrenching frustration over a particularly annoying ex-girlfriend is all the funnier for being unexpected.

We are also treated to lots of fake panda facts from his book - and anecdotes about reviewers who genuinely, god help us all, thought he was a zoologist - and the discovery that the best heckles come from children. Who hasn't ever wanted to ask "is this going to get good soon?" in the middle of a tedious play? Such gentle, thoughtful material and delivery will never hit BBC1 primetime yet the show, despite starting at 6.30pm, is a sellout which must make us all, deduces O'Doherty, "fucking cool". Never has being part of the uncool kids' club been so cool, or enjoyable.

The Greenwich Comedy Festival finishes today with Adam Buxton's BUG, Rhoma Cameron and Popcorn Comedy (Bill Bailey is sold out). Read the rest of our Greenwich Comedy Festival coverage, visit David O'Doherty's website or follow him on Twitter.

Last Updated 12 September 2010