Is the Irish comedian's latest tour any good?
Anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing Dara O'Briain doing stand-up live will agree with me when I say that his recent assessement that you'll often 'have to be there' to get the full experience is deeply true. Having sat through Dara's new stand-up show Craic Dealer in Oxford this month, I can happily confirm that the comedian has not lost his 'touch' by any stretch of the imagination, as he skillfully weaves elements of his jokes and the general surprise occurrences of the night together to form a hilarious evening of entertainment from which it is damn near impossible to come away disappointed. As characters go, Dara is up there with the best of them- you can just sense the connection the audience instantaneously gains with him the moment he steps on stage and opens his mouth, and that is quite honestly the best mark of a strong comedian nowadays. Of course, it's always hard putting a definitive score on a night of comedy, as short of watching a dire comedian roll out the same jokes as always with no charism or individualism on the night, you're generally guaranteed to come out in a fair degree of fits of laughter. The only criticism I could possibly level at my time with Dara was that one or two of his jokes seemed to be somewhat recycled from previous tours (video games, fortune tellers and religion cropped up again, and I had only recently seen them used on DVDs), meaning that at times it could feel as if Dara was 'forced' to interact more with the audience than use his own array of jokes. However, I do not by any means want you to think that my evening was anything less than a brilliant one, since what Dara lacked in innovative, hilarious new jokes of his own, he made up for with his sheer wit and intelligence with regards to the details and events he took from the audience and used to make a cohesive, grandly-structured piece of comedic brilliance that will not soon be forgotten by me or anyone else who sat in the Oxford New Theatre that night. One thing that I can guarantee you right now is that so long as they take the best bits from every show, the makers of the Dara O'Brian: Craic Dealer DVD this November will be in for an absolute shedload of sales thanks to the sheer masterpiece that is Mr O'Brian's new tour.