David O'Doherty, Town Hall, Birmingham - review

By Megan Archer | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

Comedian and self-described ‘failed jazz musician’ David O’Doherty brought joy and hilarity to Birmingham Town Hall last night.

David O'Doherty

The Irish funnyman, accompanied by his trusty plastic keyboard, was in the city for the final stop of his tour - David O’Doherty: You Have To Laugh.

Described as ‘a brand-new show made up of talking and songs played on a crappy keyboard from 1986’, the evening - well - it provided just that.

And let’s be honest, it was just what we - the audience - were looking for.

He’s starred on BBC2’s Live at the Apollo and Channel 4’s 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, but David doesn’t put on any showbiz airs and graces.

Wearing a causal t-shirt and jeans, and a woolly bobble hat, the 42-year-old had us constantly in stitches chatting about his fear of mice, his hatred for annoyingly loud motorbikes, and the time he carried an oversized cheque onto an aeroplane.

But it was his songs that really had me laughing out loud - that sort of laugh you know is a bit too much for a public place but you just can’t contain it (my favourite type of laugh).

A hit with the crowd was his creative ‘duet’ with Shakira, where he hilariously played the parts of both himself and the Columbian singer,

He also ‘travelled in time’ to have a conversation - through song - with his 18-year-old self, having to break it to him that he wasn’t going to be a professional footballer like he dreamt.


And when he wasn’t singing at his chair with his keyboard, David was all over the place on stage - but it just made everything even funnier.

He’d start off a song, all serious, before stopping, banging on the keyboard ferociously and knocking over his chair in a mock rage.

A highlight of the night was when he tried to eat his microphone - like a snake consuming a sizeable human, he explained.

Really an excellent show - and a fabulous night to mark the end of his tour.

David O’Doherty, you were just ‘grand’ - but not the Irish version of grand, which apparently means ‘meh’ (I discovered last night).

Pure English grand.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Deputy Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Deputy Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email


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