When I first looked at the line up for this particular show in The Cherry Top I had to do a double take; Natasha Leggero and The Nualas with Gearoid Farrelly in the role of MC certainly didn’t sound like a match made in comedy heaven! While they’re all funny in their own right, I was concerned that the obvious ‘odd-man-out’ in this mix of comedians, would have difficulty connecting with the expectant audiences sense of humour, especially after taking a quick glance at the crowd. And so it was with a hint of concern and a lot of anticipation that I settled into my seat, ready to be entertained.
Gearoid, our MC for the evening, bounded onto the stage with bundles of energy and soon had the crowd giggling. Bouncing from topic to topic and including some hilarious stories from his home/school life as a child amid material based on his life at present Gearoid was likeable from the start. Gearoid’s chatty,open stand-up style resonated with the audience and he did an excellent job as MC, successfully increasing the energy in the room from notably lack-luster to ‘ready-to-laugh’ as he brought on the first act of the show Natasha Leggero.
American actress/comedian Natasha Leggero was clearly unknown to most of the crowd and her opening gags about the diamond crises and LA gang tours didn’t evoke the laughs they deserved. Frankly put the audience had no idea what to make of the pint-sized comedienne whose material is unashamedly brash and she knew it. Commenting a few too many times on the lack of success she was having on stage Leggero did manage to elicit laughter from the majority of the audience and her comedic critiques of modern music, bizarre reality tv shows and non-sensical new trends in the way people speak were well received. I personally really enjoyed the set and would like to see her perform again, but I have to seriously question why the event organisers placed her in a line up that was being headlined by The Nualas. I’m all for diversifying the comedy experience of a crowd but this particular group certainly weren’t prepared for the vicious sense of humour Leggero is known for and I don’t think she was prepared for the bamboozled response she received during most of her set.
Gearoid reappeared briefly and lightened the mood once more with his thoughts on the creation of pop stars through reality tv shows, including our own Mary Byrne and after sharing stories of how he and his siblings could only ask their mother embarrassing questions while she completed a particular household chore, he introduced the headliner for the evening, The Nualas.
Well-known and long-established Irish musical comedy favourites The Nualas were clearly who the vast majority of the crowd had come to see. Opening with a little banter among themselves and getting the important thank yous to the shops who supplied their glamourous attire out of the way early, it wasn’t long before the singing began! Turning their hand to songs in a variety of styles including everything from a traditional Irish ballad to a Spanish style tune and even a Bluesy number these ladies certainly know how to sing. Each of the songs was well thought out and excellently performed with every note and action lovingly rehearsed. The energy and enthusiasm shown by all 3Nualas helped the material to retain a sense of spontaneity and their chemistry and banter on stage added an extra dimension of silly fun to the proceedings, but it was their witty lyrics that truly ensured the laughter kept flowing. As a first introduction to The Nualas the show couldn’t have been more enjoyable and it was easy to see why this trio have the huge following they do, definitely an act to see if you like your comedy musical!
It was certainly an interesting evening and a great way to kick-start my Vodafone Comedy Festival fun. Find out more about Natasha Leggero on her site and track down The Nualas here, you can also find Gearoid’s gig listings on facebook.