When I saw the comedy programme for the 10 days in Dublin festival one of the shows which immediately stood out was Michael Downey’s ‘Standing Up Again’. The big question playing on my mind was; How would someone who had been violently tossed out of the comedy world just as his career was taking off handle being back in the spotlight again?
The gig took place in The Loft in The Twisted Pepper and unfortunately started with Michael making apologies to the audience for issues he was having with a dvd that was essential to his show. Technical faults were a plenty throughout the set but Michael took each one in his stride and his humble but quietly confident demeanour meant the audience weren’t put off by the interruptions to the flow of the gig. Michael even managed to successfully incorporate a few of the problems he encountered into his material.
The name of the show, Standing Up Again, was very fitting as Michael’s material took us back through his comedy journey from his early success to the accident which stopped his career in it’s tracks for almost a decade and on to his present foray back into stand-up. Michael is an intelligent, witty man whose natural presence and laid back manner on stage makes him a very easy comedian to listen to. The audience was enraptured by him throughout the gig and even the noise of additional people joining the crowd was forgotten while watching Michael share his stories.
The visual props at Michael’s disposal were very cleverly positioned and well used during the gig to add an extra depth to his material and while he claims to have memory problems as a result of the accident Michael didn’t miss a beat, with amusing observations being made throughout his set. Michael’s alternative funeral clichés, ponderings about what would happen if animals commiserated with each other like humans and list of potential benefits to using an alternative mode of transport to cars were all crowd pleasers and each was so easily woven into the material that they retained a sense of spontaneity which made them all the more entertaining.
I really enjoyed Michael’s gig, he has battled with many demons before getting back on stage and while he isn’t the same energetic outspoken comedian we saw in the dvd clips from 10years ago he still has plenty of humourous things to say that are bound to keep you entertained for an hour! He will be taking his show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August click here for details. Fancy a preview? Get yourself to the Capital Comedy Club tomorrow night so where he will be performing along with some other Irish comedy talent.