Asked why they came to see Donnelly, one member of the audience admitted it was a random choice. Indeed, not one member of the crowd admitted to being lured in by his slick media campaign. Fliers, posters, adverts: all for nothing.
So much for Public Relations. Yet, unlike the vast majority of young ‘up and coming’ random Fringe choices, Donnelly is actually quite funny. He also delights in his own jokes as much as the audience do, which is a refreshing thing to see in an era when dead pan stand-up comics are looking increasingly jaded.
No slicked back hair or dull grey suits for Donnelly. Instead, resembling a younger Krusty the Clown wearing a pair of NHS glasses, he assures us – laughing at the statement – ‘this is actually my own head’. Good to know. But he doesn’t rely on his own novelty for long to illicit laughs. Donnelly is a class act at telling anecdotes, getting the right balance between coherency and random asides. None of these mainly personal stories are particularly unique, but he can squeeze a great deal of laughter out of the most mundane realties of every day existence.
If Donnelly continues to produce such a high standard of stand up, it’s unlikely he will go on being just another random Fringe choice for comedy fans.
Underbelly, 5-29 Aug (not 16), 8.55pm