Edinburgh Fringe Festival
★★★★★ (out of five)
Until August 28
AFTER a decade of Edinburgh fine-tuning, Jarlath Regan has learned exactly what it takes to get laughs out of the Fringe faithful - and it shows.
Two flights of stairs beneath the Tron in the depths of the Royal Mile venue’s bottom floor, the Co. Kildare comic had an audience as eclectic as his material hanging on his every hilarious word.
After instilling a ceremoniously gentle terror in the hearts of a couple sat in the front row, Regan leapt full throttle into a set he has been perfecting for a couple of years now.
More recent global events add a slightly political but equally hysterical flavour to the set.
Arseways - or things going slightly awry - is an apt enough title for a show which includes everything from the antics of his young son Mikey to Brexit, and in the current climate one can’t help but empathise with the show’s focus on calamity.
Regan is a comedian that comes across as hugely comfortable with himself and his material, but also his lifestyle - Regan’s anecdotes relating to the relationship between the Irish and British as always raised some of the loudest laughs.
In a year which has seen the occasional serious tone become more fashionable at the Fringe - with everything from terrorism to severe mental health issues being picked apart - Regan’s show is a welcome and brilliantly-crafted reprieve.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t moments where the Irishman seriously challenges his basement-dwelling audience; and the idea of ‘double checking’ is ramped up to the nth degree when Regan asks his audience whether a second EU referendum might at least be worth considering as a possibility.
But Regan does exceedingly well not to preach too much to the choir. One might say that even Brexiteers will find enough to relate to in his material thanks to the easy-going nature of the show.
The audience certainly did.
The room had an overwhelmingly sympathetic reaction to the Regan’s everyday anecdotes, and the laughs which were spaced expertly throughout the set were sure to be heard through the floorboards above.
This is a funny-man at the peak of his powers.
One thing is for certain, if you head down to the depths of the Tron in this the final week of the Fringe 2016, you most definitely won’t be left feeling Arseways about the experience.