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Monday, July 6, 2015


(Dylan Moran)

(Reviews from the artSMart team currently in Grahamstown at the 2015 National Arts Festival)

Consummate professional and a very entertaining performer. (Review by Keith Millar)

Internationally acclaimed Irish comedian, Dylan Moran, is one of the flagship acts brought to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown this year.

This popular stand-up comedian, writer, actor and filmmaker is regarded as one of the best comics of his generation. He has regularly been voted amongst the top 20 greatest stand-up comedians. However, one can’t help thinking that a poll such as that can only be subjective.

Moran is also feted for his role as Bernard Black in the UK television sitcom, Black Boots, which he co-wrote. The series has received two BAFTA awards.

In this country, Moran has a massive cult following. It is these supporters which resulted in the huge Guy Butler Theatre at the 1820 Settlers Monument in Grahamstown been sold out for all his shows.

His appearance on stage led to a spontaneous outbreak of rapturous applause and whoops of joy from his adoring fans. He then proceeded to hold them in the palm of his hand as they rocked with laughter at his every word and gesture.

Moran has an eccentric appearance on stage. With his trademark uncombed hair, baggy jeans and ill-fitting blazer, he looks more like a layabout than the first-class, sharp witted and sardonic comic he proves to be.

The new show which he is presenting in Grahamstown is entitled Off the Hook and is more personal than his previous offerings. He talks about marriage and his family and the rotund shape he has developed since giving up smoking. He admits that he can’t help constantly putting food in his mouth but insists he is not American fat, but that he is rather a more sophisticated European fat.

In his rambling, shambolic and slightly confused style he also touches on subjects such as religion, political issues, terrorism, getting old, hipsters, immigration, Germans, middle-age and all the paradoxes of life. He suggests that life has only four stages – child, failure, old and death.

Despite the laid-back style Moran, as you would expect from someone who has been in the business for 25 years, is razor sharp. His delivery is marvellously paced and his comedy timing is superb.

Dylan Moran is the consummate professional and a very entertaining performer. However, there is hope for our local comedians. I have seen more than one who could stand their ground with this international star. – Keith Millar

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