Jarlath Regan, Edinburgh Fringe 2013 – review

Jarlath Regan, Edinburgh Fringe 2013 – review

Jarlath Regan

Assembly Rooms
Edinburgh Fringe Festival

 (out of five)

Until August 25

WELL-KNOWN Glasgow barman Paul McGinn would undoubtedly approve of Kildare comic Jarlath Regan.

One of his famous heckles toward an emerging Glaswegian was memorably: "call me old fashioned; I prefer my comedians funny."

After seven years Jarlath Regan knows the pressures of being funny every night for the month of the Fringe. On August 11 his Sunday tea-time show was completely sold-out and - after some gentle banter with a terrified woman in the front-row - the laughs kept coming.

Rich territory proved to be the relentless winter of 2010 and an Irish news clip featuring Dubliners trying to stay on their feet, which was like something from a Monty Python sketch.

Elsewhere technology proved a formidable part of the show, something - unlike the many festival comics who are critical of social media - Regan embraces. He uses it and discusses it as a fact of life in the set.

It’s not something to be down about.

Luckily the audience relate to his material, in particular his Facebook friends and the one who has now become something of a cameo figure in his show. Regan reveals some heated but hilarious Facebook exchanges which escalate into threats.

The posts end, bizarrely, after some ribbing and chastisement, with the former friend wishing the comedian the best of luck with his move to England as if to draw a line under things.

We can only imagine the reaction if the former friend one day discovers that his messages are continuing to provide Regan with some of his best material and the relationship almost constituting a cyber-double act.

A good writer and comic can find humour in any given domestic situation or whatever the audience throws at him and Regan shows he is capable of bantering fast and loose with a packed-out international crowd.

But some of his best material focuses on the every-day cultural shifts between Ireland and England.

He contrasts how the Scots and Irish build and transform a seemingly mundane story into the most exciting thing that has ever happened to them, with the experience of waiting for a sentence to end in England so his life can begin again.

Regan is living proof that it takes time and patience to build something organically at the Fringe and it's paying off handsomely this time around.