REVIEW: Patrick Kielty – Grand Opera House, Belfast
In Northern Ireland, particularly within politics, we have learned that when things are going pretty well it isn’t that long till something comes to screw it up.
Ask someone the weather at the minute and the reply will be like ‘it may be sunny today but it’s due to change’. For Patrick Kielty, things are going pretty well at the minute. Thanks to ‘funny equalling fanny’ he has married Cat Deeley (yeah he was shocked too).
However, now she has started acting (Deadbeat), is that all at jeopardy thanks to the Oscar Love Curse? Consider the evidence – Sandra Bullock, Reese Witherspoon, Kate Winslet, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow etc. – all Academy award winners that left their partners. Then think of the competition that poor Patrick is up against. The bronzed muscular hunks associated with LA versus the pasty white lad from Dundrum. Exactly! That’s why he needs our ‘Help’.
Micky Bartlett more than ably delivers the warm up to the fine women of Belfast and the not so beautiful men; telling us that in a poll we were voted the ugliest men in Europe as ugly people here bloody mean it. That is, until you factor Jamie Dornan (cue the swooning). Micky highlights how far Belfast has progressed as Jamie is on camera blindfolding someone and people are ok with it. It used to be if you were blindfolded by someone from here, no-one was ok with it – least of all the person being blindfolded. He continues to demonstrate how progress has been made, from Boots store from its 2000 year old equivalent Sandals, to air fresheners in a well-polished routine before discussing how a potentially controversial impression of his mum seeing the TV Licence man isn’t controversial at all. Analysis of the suspicious defence made by Oscar Pistorius indicates how little he had to stand on, bringing his set to a close with well-earned applause.
With the chaise longue and ‘Help’ by the Beatles playing, the stage is set for Kielty, who’s much anticipated return sees the applause die off before he gets half way across. He points this out with a risqué joke about being as welcome on stage as Ralf Harris pushing his way through a One Direction gig, which goes down well.
In what he calls a no show, everything gets touched. Paedophile priests, Nigel Farage at Eurovision, how apps based on appearances like Tinder and Grindr are racist to people from here and even himself, with jokes about how masturbation from memory is a lost art. This is all set within the ‘group therapy’ context as he reveals his concerns over his marriage, as whilst 40% of married couples in the UK get divorced rising to 60% in America, it is a huge 80% in Hollywood in couples within the entertainment business. Whilst it used to be ‘till death us do part’, due to medical advances etc., the time between getting married and death is increasingly longer so the odds of making it that far are getting lower. This is especially true, he argues, as men will make mistakes when they are either thinking too hard or when certain parts of their anatomy are too hard.
Kielty stirs us through his concerns brilliantly by interweaving insights into his relationship; the taboo story of him, a Roman Catholic man, going with an English female decision maker which he plays upon by not eating his dinner and telling Cat not to go into the ensuite goes down particularly well. His ability to deliver lines that people relate to, men on Saturdays being dragged to Sprucefield shopping, ensure that he keeps the audience in the palm of his hand.
This all establishes the context of how we, the audience, can help Kielty by writing down ‘Do’s for Paddy’ with the best answer from each show being entered into a book for Cat and him to read. Whilst ‘Let it go’ is played, the cards are gathered on stage and Kielty begins to read a selection aloud. Laughs are derived from general relationship advice like ‘always have the last words…and those are, yes dear’ (which unsurprisingly my partner reminded me of) to Kielty specific advice like ‘a Cat is for life’ and ‘always look after the cat flap’.
Unsurprisingly in Belfast, home of Stormont, after plenty of talking and communication nothing was resolved, with the best answer being that Kielty should learn how to use an apostrophe (‘Dos for Paddy’ and not ‘Do’s for Paddy’). Kielty must continue with his search for ‘Help’, which is great news for future audiences. Keith Henry, GiggingNI.com