The bustling and jovial atmosphere of the Iveagh Gardens during the comedy festival is a wonderful thing. Waiting to enter a tent with a drink in your hand and the sun shining is one of the best festival experiences Dublin has to offer, so it was with great excitement that I entered ‘The Cherry Top’ tent to see Reginald D. Hunter & Kyle Kinane.
The scheduled MC for the show was Keith Farnan but after a short delay we were greeted by last minute replacement MC: Willie White. Opening with a short dancing number and some hilarious interactions with the audience, Willie White got the proceedings started very well and kept the audience engaged and ready for the first performer.
As Kyle Kinane took to the stage, it was easy to tell he is well versed in stand up comedy. Very confident and calm in his delivery, Kinane shared stories about a range of subjects such as personal beliefs, encounters with animals, parental support and annoying eaters. While there were certainly some memorable quips in his set, much of the material did not seem to run very well with the audience. There were occasional moments of drifting laughter after jokes and I think the biggest fault of his set was that it was far too long (much longer than Reginald D. Hunters). I certainly enjoyed the animated stories told by Kinane and found his set very funny at times but it would be difficult to call his performance a complete success.
After a brief intermission, we were treated to another welcome introduction by Willie White. Last but certainly not least, Reginald D. Hunter took to the stage. The towering, smooth-voiced Hunter immediately engaged the audience with his charm and from that point on, the laughter came in droves. Quips about being on the road, relationships and a hilarious take on the John Terry controversy were among the highlights of his set but what most stood out, was his delivery. An articulate confidence and masterful sense of pace made Reginald D. Hunter a joy to watch. Some controversial elements of his set & vocabulary could have been easily misused by a less skilled performer but it all served to create a balanced and impossible to dislike set. The only fault of the set was that after such a long first act, his appearance seemed all too brief but doesn’t the ability to leave an audience wanting more speak well for how great it was??
I very much enjoyed the performances of both comedians on the night. Some elements of the Kyle Kinane set did not flow as well as they could have but with some great jokes and a strong MC, it’s safe to say that fun was had by all.