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Review Patrick Monahan – Hug Me I Feel Good

The Irish-Iranian stand-up impresses at the Bradford Alhambra Studio

Review: Patrick Monahan – Hug Me I Feel Good

From the moment that he bounds on to the stage, hugging practically the first four rows of the Alhambra Studio audience one by one, you know that Patrick Monahan is a little bit different.

Likeable, charismatic and as witty – if not more so – than many of the ‘top’ comedians, Monahan, the Irish/Iranian comic (raised in Teeside) had the wonderfully appreciative and varied audience in the palm of his hand – in fact, he could have played for another five hours and not lost his grip.

Monahan comes across like a slightly naughtier Peter Kay crossed with a more focused and precise Ross Noble. Monahan is the epitome of ‘cool’ in a stand-up comedian, right down to his brand new Adidas trainers; there is a clean edge to Monahan which makes him accessible to all ages and backgrounds. It was also interesting that I don’t recall him swearing once, despite talking about some risqué subject matter. That’s not to say Monahan is ‘nice’ in a boring way; he can be as sharp as any stand up I have seen in recent years, but is always careful to ensure the victim is in on the joke too.

Patrick Monahan gives the anti-Arena tour performance, if you will. Hug Me I Feel Good is 99% interaction; indeed all of his best laughs came from some of the hilarious responses he received (and duly mocked) from the game Alhambra Studio audience. In fact, without audience interaction and with only a very modest amount of original material loosely worked into the evening’s proceedings, Monahan might just struggle standing telling one-liners for two hours.

But there is no doubting Monahan’s popularity, indeed in the Alhambra Studio audience were many who had seen his previous Yorkshire dates and come back for more. Monahan even recognised several and used them in later skits, including the fabulous dance-off finale; his attention to detail is superb and his use of ‘layering’ recurring jokes (in our case one result was "Wearing a kettle on your head doing the great north run in Middlesbrough") is not excessive. Unlike Ross Noble, Monahan has the ability to stop if something is not funny and quickly move on.

Having just won ITV’s stand up comedy contest Show me the Funny, there is little doubt that Monahan is going far and – in my opinion – is one of the best stand up comedians working the circuit today. With a DVD coming later in the year, the future looks bright for Patrick Monahan.

Harry Zing saw Patrick Monahan at Bradford Alhambra Studio on 7th October. You can read more of his writing at www.chewingthescenery.com

Patrick Monahan plays Harrogate Theatre on 7th November

Posted on Thursday 13th October 2011

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