If you’re a fan of Irish charmer Dylan Moran, you may have gone to see his new tour “Yeah, Yeah” in Swansea 3rd June. Though possibly best known for his television sitcom Black Books as the ever endearing Bernard Black, he has also had roles in such films as Run, Fat Boy Run and Shaun of the Dead. Our very own Irish lass Roisin O’Connor reviews the show…

by Roisin O’Connor

Breasts. This is the first subject Dylan Moran chooses to discuss in his new show. He wants to know if it’s true when some women spin suddenly to one side, that not all of them stops moving, as apparently this also happens to men. Sammy bursts into a fit of giggles and points at my chest, mouthing “do yours do that?” Moran cuts a dishevelled figure, in jeans, a shirt, and black jacket, with the famous hair that he can’t leave alone and spends most of the show pushing back, in the same style as his grumpy bookshop-owning creation, Bernard Black. His usual glass of red wine is picked up and put down again, with a glass of water staying untouched as he totters around the stage. Nervous? Slightly. Drunk? Probably. Sammy and I both agree that it’s a shame he can’t smoke onstage, since he looks odd without the cigarette.

Sammy Siddique takes a cheeky photo

His sketches are there in the background, strange, but interesting caricatures with almost-unintelligible titles or notes scrawled around the images. The jokes are a mix of comments on current social and political events along with snippets from his family life. There’s some great new material on nationality, in particular the British and their stereotypes. His comments on politics are fantastically obscure, at one point he observes that the Green Party is “the vegan sitting at the dinner table of the world.” As soon as the first half is over, Sammy and I look at each other and dart round to the stage exit to see if he might turn up. We’re the only ones with this idea as everyone else performs the mad rush to the bar. Waiting just outside the entrance to the car park we see him emerge from a vehicle entrance further down the building and hover around, cutting quite a solitary figure. I call over and he looks up, slightly confused, as I offer him a cigarette for a couple of minutes talking to us. He politely mumbles that he’s just about to go back in for the next half.

The second act is just as good, if not better, as he seems to have recovered from the memory loss he was afflicted with in the first half. His observations of society are incredibly witty and he seems slightly more confident in audience interaction. Asking what people did during the interval, he receives the usual answers of people having drinks, going to the toilet, plus one genius who shouted that he had a wank. “Usually I’d take that as a joke but coming from you I actually believe it,” is Moran’s response, and as the audience lap it up he continues with the rest of the show. His encore is great- he comes back on holding a bar of Green & Black’s and eats a piece thoughtfully before admitting that he’s given up smoking and replaced it with the chocolate. Me and Sammy look at each other in an “oops” kind of way, and as he heads offstage for the last time to huge applause we get up and race round to the back of the building again.

Some of the many weird and wonderful thoughts of our host

After a few minutes he reappears, hilariously smoking one of the cigarettes he claims to have quit, but we don’t move, not wanting to be responsible for him getting mobbed by a load of fans, although I’m itching to talk to him again. It’s almost impossible for me not to look over, but eventually someone else spots him and the fans swarm to ask for autographs. We walk over slowly and wait for everyone to have a turn talking to him. One guy has a sheepish grin on his face and asks for a photo with him but Moran says no straight away, looking very self-conscious. He doesn’t like photos, being a little shy in real life and a fair bit quieter. Close-up he looks tired, and as the rest of the crowd leave, he turns to talk to us. I apologise for trying to bribe him earlier, saying that if I’d known he’d quit I would have brought wine, looking pointedly at the cigarette dangling from his mouth. He laughs and looks grateful for the fact that Sammy and I aren’t bothered about him signing anything, and apologises for if he was rubbish onstage. He’s been touring for five days straight now, but we reassure him that he was still great. Acting as though he’s a school boy who’s just remembered his manners, he jumps forward to shake my hand and then Sammy’s, after which we wish him luck with the rest of the show and let him get back to his cheeky cigarette.

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