Brian Gallagher opens with a dig at the Scottish streets and hills which immediately captivates the audience, along with his warm and inviting Irish lilt which draws them in further. The stories he presents spiral from those of his mother and her intense parenting attitude to his travelling stories and the individuals he met who inevitably reminded him of the mother he was so desperate to escape.
The jokes begin with an entertaining collection of stories from New Zealand and how he and a friend managed to find themselves in a sticky situation in a biker bar. Gallagher’s jokes about home and his friends are relatable, and his love for Ireland shines through. His country’s laid-back approach is the punchline of a few of his jokes, and his own attitude and image isn’t something he is afraid to criticise either. With The Nightcap being such a small and intimate showroom with plenty of character, the choice of venue complements these more personal jokes and brings a feeling of knowing between audience and performer.
However, the tales take a darker turn from the self-deprecating personal stories we usually hear from comedians, combatting social and racial issues; it is surprisingly refreshing to see someone combat such a high profile issue in a delicate yet powerful manner. While these risky jokes are taken well by this particular evening’s crowd, the inclusion of more serious topics means this could be a poor choice of show for the weak-hearted.
Overall, Gallagher is charming and finds a way to work serious issues into his jokes while still entertaining the crowd. His personality continually shines through his set and makes the audience feel welcome and content throughout.
A**hole New World
Nightcap Venue (Venue 383)
Runs until 26 August (excluding 16th)
Buy tickets here
Image: Derek Skehan