Andrew O'Neill's Black Magick Fun Hour – Free

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Andrew O'Neill
Published 13 Aug 2017

Whatever you do, don't come to this expecting actual magic tricks. This is very much the other type of magic, and O'Neill sets out his stall early: "This is a comedy show about gaining occult power." In part, this is guff. For all his psychedelic, alternative vibe, you're not going to be excommunicated for holding a ticket stub to O'Neill's show. There are no dead goats here. Forget the salt, because you won't need a ring around you. Incidentally, this is one of O'Neill's favoured techniques, the repetition of alternative punchlines. Though you may have a poor impression of how well this works. It's actually quite fun.

But, the magick thing. In fact, this isn't entirely throwaway. There's a line through O'Neill show which talks about the ability of words (incantations) to realise actions in the real world. So, he argues, what if the occult is really about how words become real. It's a nice insight, and one that provides an anchor point to a set which is really a wild set of disparate thoughts.

And wild is probably the right word. Frenzied might be another. O'Neill's mind works at a mile a minute – at one point he even distracts himself, losing his place but covering up with it with some fast thinking and in-for-a-penny-in-for-a-pound showmanship. It's a good job he works so fast, because not all of his gags hit home. But the duds aren't left to register long enough for that to matter. Where he does leave a pause, it's for a proper thumper. O'Neill knows what he's doing.