Downstage Theatre, Wellington

01/05/2012 - 05/05/2012

Q Theatre, Rangatira, Auckland

06/05/2012 - 06/05/2012

NZ International Comedy Festival 2012

Production Details

Winner 2008 Edinburgh Comedy Award & 2010 Irish Comedian Of The Year 

What a rubbish year. Seriously. The recession, the earthquakes, revolutions crushed by tyrants, and David has been punched in the face twice by strangers on the street for no reason. Plus he had a mouse in his house. And then recently the screen on his phone smashed and now they want €100 to fix it. It’s enough to bring a lesser person down. It’s enough to bring David down. But he has managed to write some jokes about it. 

David has spent the year touring and writing and doing bits for British and US television. In November his latest book, 100 Facts About Sharks, co-written with Claudia O’Doherty and Mike Ahern was published worldwide. In November he recorded his latest CD ‘We Are Not The Champions’ in Dublin. In February he became the first Irish comedian to record his own Comedy Central TV Special in America.

David O’Doherty presents an hour of talking, songs and a movie proposal for New Zealand. He is terribly excited to be coming back.

“A triumph” – The Montreal Gazette

As part of the NZ International Comedy Festival 2012


Dates: Tue 1 – Sat 5 May, 8.30pm
Venue: Downstage Theatre , 12 Cambridge Tce
Bookings: 04 801 6946 www.downstage.co.nz
Tickets: Adult $35, Conc. $30, Group 6+ $30 ( Wed/ Thur only)
Duration: 1 hour 

Dates: Sun 6 May, 8pm
Venue: Rangatira at Q, 305 Queen St
Bookings: 09 309 9771 www.qtheatre.co.nz
Tickets: Adult $36, Conc. $34, Group 6+ $34 

For a full line up of performances, booking details & more information, visit www.comedyfestival.co.nz 

A welcome mix of sung and spoken stories

Review by Kate Ward-Smythe 07th May 2012

During his extended voice-over introduction to himself, David O’Doherty warns he was labelled both a “national treasure” and “not to everyone’s taste” by Irish media. He’s all the former from my point of view.

I find him the most likable, chatty and irreverent of comedians, full of enthusiasm for life’s infinitesimal details, finding comedy in the most unlikely of places, as he ambles through the comings and goings of his existence.

Childhood memories and his Irish Catholic upbringing are also staples in his feast of mirth, as a capacity crowd sit back and relax. He entertains for nearly twice the advertised duration, No doubt this awesome bonus 45 minutes is due to the fact that we are the last audience of his 3 months tour, before he heads home.  

The night is a welcome mix of sung and spoken stories, with the aid of his trademark cheap Casino keyboard, half the size of most, yet with twice the impact. His style is not the traditional ‘set up — punch line’; in fact it’s easy to see why he rates The Flight of The Conchords among those who inspire and drive him, as he possesses that same understated genius in his content and delivery.

Not surprisingly, his audience is essentially (but not exclusively) white, peppered – I notice, as we take our seats – with many Irish accents. The largely incoherent man next to me happily shares his enthusiasm for O’Doherty with Gaelic intonation.

Song-wise, O’Doherty opens with ‘Life’, describing it as a marathon effort with no map, yet it’s over too soon.  His second tune is an ode to procrastination; a brilliantly executed exposition on how amazing he is going to be, just not this week. His ‘Secrets Of The Ladies’ will forever be in my mind, whenever I reach for the mushrooms. 

His next tune, with its low-tech clichéd lighting (designed just before he starts — brilliant)! is about how crap TV content is, with reality shows about crushing dreams, diets, obesity and talking about sports; followed by the new crap content — face book status updates. Genius perspective.

Finally, his closely song, ‘We Are Not The Champions’ – about the human condition and how we are united in our small failings, such as searching for a hat that is already on our head — is wondrous. I feel normal.

Content-wise, this unassuming man can pull a laugh from anything. Global preoccupations are enhanced by his unique worldview, like the latest recession spelling the end of designer-novelty-shops, and religion as the answer to life’s vexing questions being usurped by the far more efficient and specific Google (the new God).

Equally entertaining are stories from his past and recent experience, such as the German Tram conductor, undone by his limited knowledge of the Irish language; and drawing on his Irish-love-of-a-scam, to save him and his mates from a mugging from miss-guided IRA-loving thugs, while on a cycling holiday in the Pyrenees; or his lengthy tale of Ringo The Mouse, who pulled him out of post-relationship-break-up-pizza-and-depression. Even his exploding ill health is funny. That takes great skill. 

Thank you so much DO’D – don’t let another four years pass — please come back again soon!  


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Quirky Irish comedian makes triumphant return to New Zealand stage

Review by Simon Howard 03rd May 2012

Four years on from his last performance in New Zealand, David O’Doherty has received global acclaim and notoriety as the 2010 Irish comedian of the year, and as the self-confessed least famous person ever to host popular British panel show ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks’.

He premiered to a packed Downstage Theatre on Tuesday night with audiences willing him on to two triumphant encores. As he explains in his show, having now reached the perfect age of 36, this likeable personality has learnt and experienced a great deal which he has travelled far and wide to share with us.

O’Doherty leads into his set with an unusually long intro offstage, one which relaxes the audience with his dry sarcasm and easy-going nature. Once onstage, he launches into a series of wry musings about his beloved Ireland, a country which it is clear he holds dear to his heart, but one suffering from the effects of economic recession.

While Ireland forms the basis of much of his ramblings about the perils of modern society, an underlying sense of nostalgia permeates through, and it’s this longing for the past which keeps his feet rooted firmly to the ground amongst the prancing, lying down and keyboard playing O’Doherty regularly breaks into. His digressions and meanderings are a key feature of his show. 

His improvisations and engagement with the lighting and backstage crew at Downstage are undoubted highlights of the evening. When informed that the bar would stay open but the show had to wrap up, his witty responses are hilarious.

This Irish comic’s ambivalent nature and melodramatic retellings combine perfectly to provide audiences with a highly satisfying evening’s entertainment. His re-enactment of the terrible occasion when he faced his fear of a mouse hiding in his house met with howls of laughter from the enthusiastic audience.

As an international comedian, David O’Doherty is well on his way to being up there with the very best, and his natural style and affable nature make him a crowd-pleaser from the moment he first strikes a note on his small Yamaha keyboard. The poetic nature of much of his routine is delightfully wry and an appreciative audience laps up every story they are told.

From playing the Nintendo Wii games console in his underpants to the depressingly hilarious effects of his recent romantic break-up, nothing is deemed off-limits or unworthy of this comedian’s sarcasm and scrutiny.

O’Doherty finds humour in the most ridiculous of circumstances, and when he shares with us several of his own musical numbers (where he teaches audiences about matters regarding life, love and Shakira), one realises the full extent of this offbeat character’s talent. His songs act as a condensed and simplified version of his humour, and are regularly extended by digressions, as O’Doherty runs with new ideas, finding comedy in the most bizarre situations.

The funky beats and offbeat lyrics are so clever and fresh that you can’t help but appreciate the craftsmanship of his performance. He had the audience firmly in the palm of his hand. David O’Doherty Is Looking Up at Downstage until Saturday.


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