MICF: David O’Doherty

If you’ve watched a Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala over the past few years, you might have enjoyed a seated Irishman singing a humorous song while accompanying himself on a small keyboard. His latest appearance in Seize The David O’Doherty (Carpe DO’Diem) gives us some easy-going standup, but doesn’t grab the opportunity to play to his musical strengths.

David O'Doherty
David O’Doherty

O’Doherty is an assured performer, fluently churning through his anecdotes and gags, which is particularly impressive for so early in the season of this world premiere show. There was a loose theme of being aware of the world around us and exercising the choices that we have. He was often amusing, if not hilarious, with his stand-up, with many jokes eliciting patches of laughs from the theatre. To judge the show as a whole, enthusiastic applause at its conclusion demonstrates that the filled upstairs Forum quite enjoyed their night.

I was surprised to find that the show didn’t reach the heights I had expected. Perhaps O’Doherty’s past performances have set a very high standard that’s not easy to maintain. He has a good concluding song about the conditions he requires of a girlfriend, but mostly the few songs weren’t nearly as memorable as the eccentric “Mild Super Powers” and the annoyance-venting “My Beefs 2010”, and already I’ve forgotten most of the jokes. I had hoped for some of the indignation or attitude of his back-catalogue to break up the show, however, and without trying to be snide, it seems that O’Doherty has cultivated his show to ensure that his audience have a nice night out. Maybe Sammy J and Randy’s edge has ruined me for musical comedy. Clearly O’Doherty’s a very clever operator in the business of comedy as he knows how to seize broad appeal and use it to fill a venue, and he’s a sure bet for some fluffy musical silliness.

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