Venues: The Counting House and Bar 50
Late night shows at the Fringe have two kinds of inebriated people: those who laugh at everything like perfect audience members, and those who think they’re funny enough to be up on stage and aren’t quiet about it. Eddie Mullarkey’s Ireland’s Full of Mullarkey luckily seems to attract entirely the former, but it’s fair to say if this show was at two in the afternoon the audience would still be chuckling the whole way through, such is his confidence and charm.
Mullarkey covers some well-worn comedic topics but mostly manages to put a fresh spin on them. As an Irish comedian he is obligated to mention the Catholic Church, and his bit on their abusive history is delivered with great timing, as are his many jokes about his various romantic successes and failings, and his relationship with his mother. He banters with the crowd with ease and reads the room with the skill of an old pro – which he very much is (much to his mother’s chagrin, as audience members find out towards the end of the set).
While Ireland’s Full of Mullarkey has many high points and is well put together, there are a few issues that stop it from being a perfect show. As discussed, while Mullarkey does manage to delve into comedic tropes without being stale, the fact is there are only so many jokes in the world about the differences between men and women. However, that’s not to say his jokes about these topics aren’t hilarious, just that he could potentially do more, such is his ability, stage presence, and clear intelligence.
As a whole the material is well thought out, and the jokes follow on from each other with a naturalness that means you’re always entertained but not bored, or able to guess what’s coming next. The title of the show features in the set in more ways than one, and really is the central theme, showing off Mullarkey’s ability to write something well crafted and coherent. If you’re looking for a late night set you’d still be laughing at in the cold (understandably, given we’re in Scotland), sober light of day, then there’s not much better than this wonderful little show.
Dates: August 15th – 19th at The Counting House (22:30), and August 21st – 29th at Bar 50 (20:15).