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Des Bishop – My Dad Was Nearly James Bond - One4Review


5 Stars

Irish-American comedian Des Bishop was born in London to an English father and Irish mother. He was raised in Queens, New York until the age of 14 when he was kicked out of school and sent to boarding school in Ireland. This complicated upbringing has provided plenty of material for Bishop in the past and continues to do so with devastating effectiveness.

Not only did Bishop have a complicated upbringing (the show touches on his alcohol and drug problems as a teenager, and discovering he had testicular cancer at the age of 24), but he also grew up with a father who had small roles in several films and commercials, and a successful career as a model before becoming a retail manager in several big New York department stores in order to support his wife and three sons.

When Bishop’s father was diagnosed with Stage 4 small cell lung cancer recently it gave the eldest Bishop son (his younger brother Aiden also has a show at the Fringe this year) cause to reflect on his childhood and the career his father gave up to support his family; the peak of which was when, as the show title suggests, he narrowly missed out on the role of James Bond which was won by George Lazenby.

The show is fast paced, passionate, touching and hilarious. Des’ interaction and banter with the near sell out crowd is effortless and only adds to the friendly atmosphere in the room, even when giving sex advice to a 19 year old boy sitting in the front row with his family! The show is also accompanied by film clips and photos projected behind Bishop and these effectively add to the story being told.

This was the first show of this Fringe that has managed to make me laugh until I cried and then moments later bring a genuinely emotional tear to my eye. As I mentioned after seeing Des Bishop’s Fringe show last year, he is a household name in Ireland where he still lives and he certainly deserves the same success this side of the Irish Sea.

Reviewed by Sarah

Assembly@George Street

20:05 – 21:05


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