Neale McGeever

Review: Patrick Monahan @ Washington Arts Centre

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 Patrick Monahan

The Arts Centre isn’t a venue typical of a well known TV comedian like Teesside’s Patrick Monahan. Given the Irish-Iranian stand-up isn’t at the same level as the likes of Peter Kay or Michael McIntyre, Patrick still fills seats in his North East homeland.

The Arts Centre does host regular comedy nights but have not seen the likes of Patrick on their stage yet. If tonight’s turn-out is anything to go by, this may change. The gig is in a function room with a bar, enough chairs to seat the audience and a temporary stage. You can tell the gig is small-scale when the performer waits for the queue at the bar to die down before starting. Yet Monahan uses this to his advantage.

Patrick Monahan has performed as far and wide as Dubai, jived to Rihanna on Let’s Dance For Comic Relief, managed to win ITV’s Show Me The  Funny, and is virtually still drying off from his appearance on Splash!. So it’s safe to say he’s a star on the rise. A chunk of the audience seem to know who he is but the rest appear to be here simply because there’s a comedy show in town tonight.

Patrick uses the low-key audience as the main source of his gags tonight. He comments on tropes of the North East to draw everyone in, he has even ruffled my hair and given me a nickname by this point (I’m “25 year old man” in case you’re wondering). The crowd are now firmly on his side and everyone is smiling, but before we know it the first half of this show is over.

This tour is known as Cake Charmer, and was inspired by a story he came across in the paper about what makes people happy. Monahan even involves the audience in this story, by taking time in sharing each other’s pictures of eccentric cakes. Patrick sneaks in some of his planned routine even though he is having so much fun with the audience tonight.

The parts of the routine we do hear are brilliant and appeals to the entire audience, despite the rather large age range. It’s a shame there are time restrictions, but the audience are so close he manages to communicate with everyone by the end of the night, leaving little time for scheduled parts of his act.

Although everyone present had a great night and left the room in good spirits, Monahan’s act would have worked better in a bigger venue, and if he’d had a bit more time to tell more anecdotes from his Teesside upbringing and his new obsession with cakes. I guess the title Cake Charmer is more accurate than I expected.

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