Michael J Dolan: Nothing Will Ever Be Alright Again, Ever - 4 Stars **** - One4Review
one4review | On 08, Aug 2013
There’s a certain theory that kicks around about comedians, that whilst they may be laughing on the outside they’re secretly crying on the inside. That they use humour as a defence mechanism to stop us discovering the depression that lies beneath. Well, that is absolutely not the case with Michael J Dolan. His dark black heart is worn upon his sleeve for us all to see. Or to ignore. Whichever one we choose is up to us – he doesn’t really care.
It’s certainly a brave man who stands in front of a, shall we say ‘exclusive’, audience and informs them that only one in five people who see him find him funny. Statistically it wasn’t looking good for him. And yet his almost relentlessly bleak material wrung every laugh from his select crowd. To call him nihilistic might understate matters somewhat as he informs us that at the age of 35 all he has to look forward to is his slow, tortuous and inevitable journey towards death. Add to this his conviction that he’s fairly certain that he could kill a man, possibly the one that inhabits the flat below his, and you’re looking at material that you wouldn’t generally associate with bringing out the LOLs.
And yet somehow he connects with the people in front of him. Somehow we’re all laughing at his assertion that we all deserve to die. Somehow we’re finding all of his morbid observations deeply and darkly amusing. Maybe there are too many comedians with life-affirming shows telling us to be upbeat and seize the day when what we really need is a shot in the arm of Dolan’s realism. Whatever it is, Dolan has seized upon a style that works for him and he delivers his material in an easy, laid back manner, never once letting external factors phase him – factors such as audience members deciding to search for their backpacks in the middle of his set, rather highlighting his point that some couples are really rather hateful and deserve to be with each other rather than being inflicted upon the rest of us.
At the end of our hour together I’d decided that I’d really rather enjoyed Dolan’s work, which is not what he wants at all. So go see him. Or don’t. He doesn’t really care.
Reviewed by Di
Gilded Balloon – The Turret