Comedy superhero Dara Ó Briain in flying form at the Marquee

Despite a rather reasonable fear of full-on melting in the heat, 4,000 people headed to the Marquee in Cork last night to chill with everyone’s favourite funny man, Dara Ó Briain.

Dara Ó Briain performing at Live at The Marquee in Cork. Photo: Michael O'Sullivan/OSM PHOTO

Aside from the typical few begrudgers, it is difficult to find someone who doesn’t enjoy watching the Wicklow comedian.

Whether he’s presenting shows like Mock The Week and Robot Wars or touring his stand-up, Ó Briain’s style of comedy is universal without being mundane.

He has been a staple on the Ireland and UK comedy circuit for well over a decade and his shows are as fresh as ever as this latest tour, Dara Ó Briain: Voice of Reason, demonstrates.

Live at the Marquee was the last performance of the tour before Ó Briain takes a well-deserved summer break but it felt as though it could have been its opening night.

Britain has clearly taken a shine to our Dara but it has always been obvious that he enjoys nothing more than performing to a home audience.

Where else can he tell a story about hurling, Mary-Lou McDonald and foil-wrapped hang sandwiches or instantly divide a crowd by simply saying ‘the new format is better’?

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One of the highlights of any Dara Ó Briain gig is the lightning-quick banter with those in the front rows and the Cork crowd did not disappoint.

John Joe, the gentleman who could engineer but won’t, was a firm favourite

But the MVP of the night was Ciaran from Clare who lives in Galway and travels to Cork for a gig that already toured in Galway.

Ciaran who apparently works making both medical devices and pharmaceuticals – and worryingly had trouble telling his left from his right – had Ó Briain baffled with his “magic Lucozade”.

Even after a sneaky Google during the interval, the theoretical physics graduate was still thwarted by Ciaran.

But for those of you still wondering about the magic Lucozade, Twitter has come through for you.

At the age of 46, the Bray man pokes fun at how his comedy has evolved from tales of mad adventures to talking about the builders fitting his kitchen.

But what makes Ó Briain such a joy to watch is that he can leave you doubled with laughter whether he is talking about warm feet, his son’s Legoland obsession, the theft of a bike or revealing his superhero identity.

There isn’t a single lull in the entire set as he jumps rapidly from one thing to the next.

He talks Brexit, ‘fake news’ and Trump without eliciting a ‘here we go again’ groan.

He indulges his nerdy side without alienating the audience.

He points out all of the “cheap tricks” he uses during the show to get bigger laughs without ruining the jokes.

(Hint: Don’t get up and leave once the lights come on, this is his Marvel movie moment and you’re all ruining it for him.)

There is good reason why 4,000 of us packed into the Marquee on a sweltering summer evening and it’s not Ó Briain’s sexual movements.

It’s that he is great at what he does…and also the wall-to-wall sexual movements.

As always, I guess #youhadtobethere.


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