altIrish/Iranian/Teeside stand-up comedian Patrick Monahan started last night’s performance of his new show announcing that he was about jump onto the audience from the floor above and, after being piggy-backed twice around the room by a fan, he settled down on the stage, but never let the energy drop. 

The show involves so much spontaneous material and chatting with the audience that the routine might be quite different from one night to the next. Monohan’s interest in class differences within Britain and the ways that gangs of children threaten passers-by involves finding out where his crowd is from and even learning a little bit about their hometown. He makes quick-witted observations about the different areas and has some funny material about how to find out how posh an area is. 

The highlight of the show is a bizarre section in which he teaches the audience what to do when being attacked by geese; something which a surprising number of people have suffered. Listening to each person’s account of their ordeal, Monohan is hilarious in his concern, and seems genuine in his desire to give survival tips. 

He deals with genuine problems as well, explaining that dancing in public has been illegal in Iran since 1979, but keeping spirits high with his show’s finale: an Iranian dance with a couple of audience members. You may have seen Monohan on The Paul O’Grady Show, but it is really through audience interaction that he shines. If you are a fan of audience banter, this is the show for you, but if you prefer a well-rehearsed hour of material you might not be so keen.


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