There's something refreshingly blunt about the way David O'Doherty climbs onto the stage and starts his performance. No introduction, no preamble, just a tall man with a small piano, yelling at the audience with his characteristic cheerful zeal. The venue is the Palace Nova (that's the upstairs one) and there's something rather charming about a cinema being temporarily converted into a theatre.
If you've seen him before (live or on television) you'll recognize his 1986 portable keyboard, which he is rarely seen without. There are a few songs in the show, new and old, as well as a good dose of his usual very low-impact set-trashing, with his chair and his microphone both getting a taste of his wrath. He's an unusually physical performer – that is, he's physical in an unusual way, delivering a few punchlines from the floor of the stage.
The heart of the show, though, is the storytelling, which almost seems to happen by accident between the high-intensity musical numbers. Stories from O'Doherty's childhood in Ireland are riotously funny, and include one or two unexpectedly heartwarming moments as well. Don't let the chaotic, off-kilter feel fool you – this is a well-written and tautly constructed hour of comedy from a seasoned performer.
David O'Doherty is awkward in the most charming way imaginable and very much worth seeing.