Al Porter makes Live at the Marquee debut with witty camp comedy

Al Porter took to the Live at the Marquee stage to share his camp comedy gold with the enthusiastic Cork audience, writes Breda Graham.

A sea of sunglasses arrived at the Marquee in the 22-degree sunshine to see the comedian in all his glory.

The 24-year-old who has this year taken to the airwaves as Today FM’s newest lunchtime presenter, performed at the venue for the first time, attracting thousands of people.

Tipped by critics as the successor to Michael McIntyre, for his camp comedy and witty innuendos, he arrived on stage after the opening acts, Sugarbabes and Eric Lalor.

His old-school aura shines from the get-go as he arrives in a sharply tailored purple suit resembling that of British comedian Larry Grayson and sporting perfectly coiffed hair that would put Leslie Crowther's to shame.

He begins his show with a song alongside his band before singling out a member of security, asking him, "Do I know you, I recognise the back of your head."

The crowd erupts into laughter, all the more so because he’s showing off his backside saucily to a man in the front row.

That same man is the butt of gay innuendoes throughout, as Porter insists he doesn’t want to be crude, but innuendo finds him.

Commenting on the man's body language, he said, "You're like a lightbulb, you're dim but I wouldn't change you."

With a personality that bears no resisting, the audience bellowed with laughter from the first routine, about his appearance on Living with Lucy and how his mother managed to make their council house in Tallaght sound like a desirable place to live.

The theatrical monologue throughout, resembling that of Mr Humphries from the BBC1 comedy show, Are You Being Served?, makes obvious the nine seasons Porter has under his belt as a pantomime dame.

Porter plays up to the camp, indiscreet stereotype which he is best known for, but knows when to reign it in, making judgements on the crowd's reactions.

He effortlessly takes a unique angle on his material, like the partners who get trapped on his porch when trying to make their morning getaways.

Recounting his childhood and growing up in Tallaght, we see some of the brazing deviance underneath the shiny exterior.

This world and his friendships such as with Sarah ‘Maternity’ Ward, who had two babies while still at school, portrays his real, down-to-earth persona.

Showing similarities to Irish comedian, Dave Allen, Porter pulls up a stool to tell of stories which don't portray him in the best light.

One of which is the story of being escorted through London City airport in a wheelchair he didn't need.

Before the end of the night, he acknowledged the happenings in London and around the world.

Inspired by Nanny Pat, the 84-year-old who hadn't been to the cinema in 60 years who now reviews movies for his lunchtime show on Today FM, he said, "Whatever you're going through, we can all get through it."

Porter appealed to all ages, with tell of his stint in a folk band, ending on a cheerfully sacrilegious singalong called ‘Living Next Door to Jesus’.

There couldn’t have been an audience member who wasn’t filled with pleasure at the democratic, old-school, effortlessly witty entertainment Porter provides with his crowd-pleasing comic talent.

The Dublin native has seen increased success since his first television appearance in 2010, and was the youngest comedian to ever headline Vicar Street in 2015.

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