If you’re searching for a show that explores the deep existential crisis that follows the social hierarchy of fish, then Pat Cahill is more than willing to break it down, featuring optimistic interludes from his alter ego, ‘The Dog of Instant Gratification’. Cahill is an extremely skilled comedian with perfect timing and an entirely unique perspective and The Fisherman is wonderfully bizarre and an excellent piece of absurdist comedy.

Cahill’s sense of humour is slightly off; it’s dark, self-deprecating and extremely out there. As the show progresses, the subject matter twists and turns to the point of abstraction, leaving you wondering how you ended up watching a man sweatily singing about mushrooms (that aren’t really mushrooms). ‘The Dog of Instant Gratification’ is also a treat: seeing a man don a dog ear headpiece and half-heartedly singing about his owner leaving, or the excitement of watching ping pong, has never been so entertaining.

Cahill strikes an unlikely balance between stretched absurdity and sophisticated introspection. His comedy flits between vast sociological issues such as the effects of gratification on happiness, to other, less pressing matters, like the strange noises Enrique Iglesias makes. This is one of the strangest and most satisfying hours of the Festival.

Words: Catriona Davidson

Pat Cahill: The Fisherman, Heroes @ Monkey Barrel, Aug 24-27, 2.50pm

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