Carl Donnelly: Now That's What I Carl Donnelly! Volume V

A light and breezy hodgepodge from a capable, comfortable performer whose head might be elsewhere.

comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 17 Aug 2013

“This show isn’t really about anything,” says Carl Donnelly at the beginning of his performance. And he kind of has a point. Recovering from a marriage break-up and currently in the midst of an identity crisis (he is wearing Cuban heels after all), he musters up just enough energy to stroll his way through a somewhat timid and quiet set that sneaks about, covering a variety of disconnected topics. 

It begins with a recent shift to veganism after sussing out that animals “know more than they’re letting on”, and then moves to fairly unnecessary and generic observations on the current Yewtree scandal, finally finishing at same-sex marriage, with a few gender generalisations thrown in for good measure.  

It’s all a bit too hotchpotch, and while Donnelly is harmless and likeable, he rarely ends up fulfilling his promise of something more deep and honest. Instead he chooses the easier route of light and breezy comedy which certainly fills the silences, but rarely does much more.

Although a clearly capable and comfortable performer, Donnelly seems at a loss here and in such a competitive month, he needs to put more into his material to really stand out from the crowd. Recent events, he admits, have left him a little raw and bitter and perhaps not quite ready to face the slog and brutality of a Fringe run.