Review by Emma Whitelaw
IT MUST be the luck of the Irish that makes a grumpy, dishevelled,
pessimistically drunk, Dylan Moran, so popular. Or perhaps it
is this depressingly dark and mysterious persona that alludes
to his charm?
Either way, he has banded himself together quite an army of adoring
fans for his new stand-up show, Monster II, at The Palace Theatre.
Now the lovable grump isn’t the easiest personality to
pull off. It just goes to show that true talent can make anything
work. In fact, Moran has it down pat; he has a relentlessly petulant
stance on all things even slightly enjoyable – barring,
of course, the odd cigarette or glass of wine, but then that goes
Reminiscent of fellow ill-tempered Irishman, Sean Hughes, Moran
took to the stage with a remarkably boundless energy - the sort
of energy that would be needed to keep the audience interested
in the incessant moaning that was to follow.
But therein lays the brilliance. Moran so carefully balances
the whining with the most side-splitting of deliverances that,
for the majority of the time, it wasn’t what he said, but
how he said it. These defining moments are what set dry wit apart
from mere sarcasm and, believe me, he does it oh so well!
The comic genius of Moran is the
result of years of experience. In 1993, Moran won Channel 4’s
So You Think You’re Funny Award. Three years later, he won
the Perrier Award for Comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
He has starred in such films as Notting Hill, The
Actor’s (alongside veteran comic, Michael Caine), and
can be seen in current box office spoof, Shaun
of the Dead.
But Moran is more widely known for his most cantankerous of characters,
Bernard Black, in the hit series, Black Books. Those coming to
the show with expectations of similar-style humour will not be
However, in saying that, the animalistic antics of Bill Bailey
were most certainly sorely missed!
Still, Moran held his own with ease, as he exuded his unique
brand of dry humour. Going off on many a tangent, he would quite
often lose himself, having to turn to the audience to cue him
as to where he was at. Although seemingly erroneous, this merely
added to his drunken demeanour.
With anecdotes of surreal situations, like his fantasy of sex
with a Smurf, nothing was taboo – even children were referred
to as mini-drunks!
But the biggest of laughs were for his ‘Irish hair impression’
– you’ll have to see it for yourself, but, believe
me, it is one for the memory bank!
Dylan Moran: Monster II, The Palace Theatre, Cambridge
Circus, from Monday, May 17 to Sunday, May 23 inclusive. Monday
- Saturday 8pm, Sunday 7pm. Prices: £25, £20, £15
Box Office: 0870 890 0142.