Dylan Moran: What It Is

Opera House, Wellington

10/05/2009 - 10/05/2009

Auckland Town Hall, Auckland

08/05/2009 - 08/05/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details


Book at THE EDGE 0800 BUYTICKETS (0800 289842)  www.buytickets.co.nz 

Book at TICKETEK 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385) www.ticketek.co.nz

Tickets on Sale Thursday 5th March
For bookings & full information, visit www.comedyfestival.co.nz

Dylan Moran, star and creator of TV’s BLACK BOOKS is back with a brand new stand up show – WHAT IT IS.  Moran’s legendary rants have sold out across the world, cementing this unkempt wordsmith’s reputation as one of the foremost comics of his generation.

Likened to Dave Allen and labeled THE OSCAR WILDE OF COMEDY, Dylan is unpredictable, bizarre, elegiac, often cruel but above all painfully funny.  Moran sees through the joys and disappointments of human existence with the sensibility and intense perception of a man teetering on the edge.  He chews life up and coughs it out.

"Joyous, in a bitter sort of way….." SUNDAY TIMES

"Dylan Moran makes you laugh so hard you have to put you head between your knees and gasp for air" THE OBSERVER

Known for his absurd observation and unique brand of dry humour, Moran is a master of comedy, combining his talents as an actor, writer and performer to incredible effect.

Born in Ireland in 1971, Dylan left school at 16 without any qualifications.  He quickly became attracted to stand up comedy and debuted in 1992 at a comedy club in Dublin.  A year later he won the Channel 4 Newcomers "So You Think You’re Funny Award’ at the Edinburgh Festival and began developing his comedy routines into a one man show for which he won the prestigious Perrier Comedy Award in 1996.  His success at the Edinburgh Festival led him to performing at international stand up comedy festivals around the world.

In 2000 Channel 4 commissioned Dylan for the sitcom BLACK BOOKS.  He wrote and starred in three series (18 episodes) of this award winning television series.  Dylan co-starred with popular British stand up BILL BAILEY, who toured his sell-out show TINSELWORM around Australia in 2008 for Adrian Bohm Presents.

BLACK BOOKS sees Moran play a character close to his stand up comedy persona; an unsociable misanthrope, reminiscent of he John Cleese character Basil Fawlty, that shares a great love of wine with one of razor sharp put downs on all things human.  His character Bernard Black’s often-surreal views on everyday things and on human behaviour are close to his stand up persona’s view of the world.

MORAN is unpredictable, startling, bizarre, but above all brilliant and hilariously funny.   It’s important not to be fooled by this gentle Irishman’s unkempt appearance, benign expression and softly spoken brogue.  Watching MORAN perform is an exhilaratingly unpredictable ride.  At one moment an unexpectedly long silence has the audience in nervous suspense, then, suddenly they erupt into hysterical laughter.

DYLAN is a man whose career has meandered as much as his unfettered, whimsical monologues. Dylan starred alongside SIMON PEGG in the must-see blockbuster SHAUN OF THE DEAD and RUN FAT BOY RUN and with Michael Caine and Michael Gambom in the film THE ACTORS. He played Rufus in NOTTING HILL, achieved critical acclaim in the comedy drama HOW DO YOU WANT ME?, hit the big screen as DR SLOP in the highly-anticipated Michael Winterbottom  movie A COCK AND BULL STORY and his 2008 release A MOVIE WITH ME IN IT, a black comedy thriller directed by Ian Fitzgibbon.

DYLAN MORAN is effortlessly comfortable in the medium of stand-up.  In this guise he takes you on an unpredictable journey that shifts fluidly from surreal fantasy to acerbic observation via linguistic gymnastics and flashes of the sublime.  The effect is overwhelmingly funny and unforgettable.

Don’t miss your chance to see the Perrier Award Winning DYLAN MORAN during this 3rd New Zealand tour with his fantastic new stand up show WHAT IT IS.

So funny, it’s painful’ THE OBSERVER

‘Simply superb… clever, eccentric, funny and articulate’ RADIO TIMES

"He’s one of a kind" THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

"While other comedians wrestle with getting older, this does not seem to be an issue for Dylan Moran.  As he hurtles middle age his curmudgeonly schtick is sharper, more focused and more resonant than ever.  At 37 going on 73, the shambling Irishman could be entering his golden age" EVENING STANDARD  



Moran opens his own black books

Review by Simon Sweetman 13th May 2009

Dylan Moran has such a following now that he can get away with almost anything. It is as if his audience is split between 50% who have been told to go and see Dylan Moran by the other 50% waiting for a version of Bernard Black from Black Books.

For the first ten minutes Moran mumbles and bumbles his way through rants, feigning road-burn; but the audience loves it. And his inimitable leaps in logic from a woman sitting at home "putting jam in to envelopes" to a modern man having no insight to pass on to his own children beyond "watch out for the snakes on level six!" start to come in to effect.

The show very swiftly taps in to Moran’s favourite theme: assessing the human condition and the need to understand why we are here, where we used to be and what will entertain, educate and distract us before we go to whatever comes next.

He warns "if you’re offended in any way please enjoy it – it’s proof that you’re actually alive" – that in itself is proof there’s a method to the madness; his elegantly disheveled look matching the structure of the show. What seems, at first, to be a random spiel is actually crafted; there is improvisation, riffing on the familiar and the abstract, but it’s the overriding existential theme that gives shape to Moran’s lines.

And he is full of them, from "Tequila is not even a drink, it’s just a way of getting the police around without using a phone", to his decision that "the universe, if it had a voice, would sound like James Earl Jones". ("Arnott’s biscuits would sound like Michael J. Fox").

Moran’s use of one of comedy’s most difficult emotions to manipulate and manage is what makes him leagues above so many imposters. When he seems hacked off with the world – language is changing; there’s no logical reason to believe either science or religion for the way the world is – it’s because he actually is angry. And he knows (brilliantly and passionately) how to articulate that.
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Moranic humour finds surprising images and metaphors in formulaic subject matter

Review by Caoilinn Hughes 10th May 2009

Expectations are high when you fork out $70* to see somebody make jokes. They are even higher when you enter the spectacular, grandiose Civic Theatre auditorium. You gawp at the arena and wonder how its hollow, blue-lit stage could possibly bear the weight of this anticipating auditorium. How strong will the script be to support our expectant smiles? How charismatic will the performer be, to break through the almost-visible ‘forth wall’ that a playhouse of this magnitude begets?

If you know and love the Dylan Moran gig, you won’t be disappointed by this show. He is consistent in his method and develops a reasonable rapport with the audience (in the first half at least). The letdown of his performance at last year’s International Comedy Festival was his marked disdain for and lack of engagement with the audience. Therefore, it came as a relief last night when the crowd-driven pantomime-like beginning broke through Moran’s sardonic dividing wall: it was the fanatical and forgiving familiar audience who bolstered his humour.

If you are not familiar with the comic, you will probably fall for his surprisingly imaginative drunken blatherings. Bear in mind: it is his choice of images and metaphors which are inventive and surprising, rather than the subject matter of his show. The subject matter is painfully cliché. After a quick, vague nod at New Zealand culture (possums, short trousers and Invercargill), he chooses religion, politics, gender differentiation, relationships, aging and consumerism as themes. However predictable the content is, it seems to please the audience and Moran’s description of the ‘Toyota Hiroshima’ 4×4 drives, which are so popular among New Zealand urban mothers who use them to plough through schoolchildren, earns him decidedly raucous laughter.

If you’ve seen Moran quite a few times and have an analytical attitude to his comedic style, you will find his formula to be easily calculable: it amounts to odd couplings of adjectives and nouns that keep the mind spinning with bizarre images like polishing onions with your toes while keeping the door shut with a mountain of Turkish Delight. My friend compared the show to last year’s performance by saying: "This year, the adjectives and nouns were better." 

If you love the Moranic style, you’ll forgive him for satirising male / female stereotypes for half an hour and following on to say that "too much emphasis is put on the difference between the genders", without even making fun of the irony. The show absolutely will make you laugh, but $70 is a lot to pay for formulaic comedy that is almost as indolent as the comic.
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*Mr Moran’s PR people chose not to issue press passes in Auckland. This review was volunteered by someone who did pay for her ticket.
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