Universal laughter in Sheffield for TV comedian Dara O’Briain
He’s known for helping to explain some of the mysteries of the universe on TV and comedian Dara O’Briain covered a fair amount of ground on stage at Sheffield City Hall too.
In his Voice of Reason stand-up show, he had the audience laughing uproariously at stories about presenting on TV with Professor Brian Cox, strict restaurant rules in another stop on the tour – declaring “Scunthorpe was brutal!” – the ways his image has been stolen online, middle-aged problems such as dealing with builders and hanging out in a strip club in Melbourne with the biker gang owners.
He also let us glimpse behind the velvet curtain by explaining a bit about how he builds his routines – and what happens when it goes wrong.
Dara talked about his fond memories of performing in Sheffield, dating back to early gigs at the Lescar, and how he didn’t manage to get a laugh out of a guide dog sitting in the front row in the last City Hall show.
But the part where he really showed off that planet-sized brain was in chatting to members of the audience, with a fair section of the front row undergoing some friendly interrogation.
Dara bounced ideas back and forth, linking facts about one audience member to another.
His glee was a joy to watch when one young man talking about an uninspiring-sounding job mentioned the company name, and that reminded him of 90s club hit Everybody Dance Now by C&C Music Factory.
That became a running gag for the rest of the show and featured in its finale.
It was fantastic to watch a hugely funny man at the top of his game charming us all by bringing us into his world and making material that has been performed all over the globe for more than a year feel as fresh as a first performance.