Carl Donnelly: Now That’s What I Carl Donnelly Vol. 6

Carl Donnelly: Now That’s What I Carl Donnelly Vol. 6

by Ruth Thomson

Carl Donnelly arrives on stage to ACDC – a diminutive figure despite the bold Cuban heels, in a double denim combo featuring the skinniest jeans ever seen north of Shoreditch and a healthy amount of guyliner. A hasty google tells me he’s had quite the image change in recent years (plus his opening gambit is about his recent laser eye surgery) and it’s not long before it becomes apparent the life crisis he faced recently in his early thirties – the break-up of his marriage – is going to be the starting point for the show. More specifically, all the stupid stuff he did when coming off anti-depressants against medical advice post said break-up are going to be the focus.

Despite a geezery swagger and an innocuous start (commenting to an audience member ‘I used to be a speccy four eyes too’ – sophisticated) Donnelly soon warms up at least to some decent banter and manages to balance the swagger with enough vulnerability to win you over. His post-divorce trip to India and his attempts to escape his woes by nine hours of home cooking tree bark purchased online to make the hallucinogenic brew Ayahuasca (it works best if a Peruvian shaman does it – in Peru, not Harlesden) provide plenty of entertaining material. He’s most endearing however when confessing to his panic at the prospect of being single after a decade and to indulging in a spot of ‘vicaring’ – the comedian’s secret code for hovering around as the audience leaves a gig in the hope of picking up a hot woman. Unfortunately for Carl his first attempt resulted in him serenading a gay couple with Erasure’s ‘Sometimes’ in their karaoke clad living room in suburban Birmingham at 3am rather than pulling a lady.

It’s not mind blowing stuff but he has enough charm and heart to get plenty of laughs.


Leave a Reply