AUDACIOUS, IRONIC, FRENETIC, IRISH
NZ International Comedy Festival 2012|
ALAN MCELROY: GIDDY!
at Brooklyn Bar - 57 Lorne St, Auckland
From 28 Apr 2012 to 5 May 2012
Reviewed by Nik Smythe, 29 Apr 2012
A small AV display screen invites us in to enjoy the Brooklyn Bar back room's comfortable chairs, which our 'bums will thank [us] for", and so we do. My bum doesn't exactly thank me, nor does it complain as it may in other fringe venue seats; rather it politely and respectfully holds its own, only flinching once at the mention of medical injections administered posteriorly (tolerable) by Steven Segal (not).
Man of the hour Alan McElroy's dress sense is of the classic scruffy ilk enjoyed globally by roadies, computer programmers and standup comedians – floppy back shirt, blue jeans, coloured sneakers, five o'clock shadow and carelessly cropped locks – languidly combined with his abrasively amplified Irish brogue. My first impression is of a loutish, irreverent, cynical lad whose sense of humour is all he has to make his perceived pathetic and pointless existence bearable, and it lasts.
Ex-pat Dubliner McElroy has been living in Auckland for three years or so, and he's here to stay, which we may choose to regard as testament to the warm, inviting culture of our fair city. By his own claim it's more to do with the fact that he hates travelling, instead preferring to photoshop himself into pics of exotic locales and read up on them Wikipedia, presumably as a means to escape the judgement of those whom view non-travellers as uncultured.
Now married to a local lass, Alan somewhat frenetically shares many an anecdote stemming from his childhood and formative years in the old country, leading to his trans-oceanic pilgrimage to our fair shores and the inevitable ensuing culture shock. Further among his repertoire of insights are the pseudo-compelling iconoclastic hypotheses that McCartney and Wonder's Ebony and Ivory is actually the most racist song ever written, and that Bob Geldof and Bono's well-publicised charitable efforts are responsible for the current problem of Somalian piracy.
Audacity and irony are major ingredients in a fairly conventional, loose set, subtly enhanced by not-so-subtle visual accompaniments on the aforementioned screen providing (for instance) photographic evidence of his gigantic head and its resemblance to a famous potato-headed Irish actor, as well as inexpertly constructed semi-animated graphics illustrating his deeper fears and/or twisted fantasies.
Good for a laugh.
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