COUNTY Down’s Patrick Kielty made his debut appearance at the Lowry theatre on Wednesday night, Jordan Davies was there for us…

The popular Irishman, on his first large stand-up show since 2005/6, had the Salfordian audience in the palm of his hand from the moment he strode onto the stage and remarked that his applause had finished before he’d even had the chance to put his notes on the table.

Kielty’s warm and inclusive persona is what drew the crowds to the Lowry on a night when both Manchester football clubs were playing at their home grounds. This was a fact Kielty pointed out in his introduction and it was perhaps the inclusivity he exudes that led to a football fan piping up with something about watching the first half, this was the catalyst for another to comment he hoped the gig was over before any extra-time began, at this point Kielty asked the spectators to introduce themselves and offered to leave whilst they discussed the sport that clearly was occupying their mind, this went down well with the rest of the audience and from then on Kielty was onto a winner.

Kielty’s marriage to popular television presenter Cat Deeley was a recurring theme over the night. Early into his set he told the uplifting anecdote of how they got together when he drunkenly told her over the phone he would make her birthday party at the Beverley Hills hotel in spite of it being the very next day and him being in his home town of Dundrun, Northern Ireland and then somehow managed to keep his promise. She is also the focus late in the set when he discusses, with the audience’s help, how he can keep his marriage going in a world where 80% of LA’s celebrities get divorced and he invites members of the public to write ‘Do’s for Paddy’ on pieces of paper which he then read out at the end (those which were appropriate of course).

The 44-year-old comic got some of his biggest laughs from the way in which he chose to acknowledge the slight disturbances from the audience. When a man walked down to take his seat around 20 or so minutes into the show Keilty quipped ‘It’s alright mate I was just killing time till you got here’. The punter then jokingly asked ‘can you start again’ and to the amusement of every member of the 400+ crowd, Keilty rattled through everything that had been said so far. When he had finished his run-through of proceedings so far he said ‘and you’re up to speed’ and took a huge breath whilst the audience gave what was by far the biggest cheer of the night. When the applause died down Keilty remarked ‘now no one go for a piss’ and continued with the rest of the show. That was a real highlight and showed Keilty was capable of impromptu moments of hilarity.

Whilst on paper Kielty’s material isn’t conducive to full-on belly laughter it is his intrinsically likeable nature that leads the audience into having a fantastic evening’s entertainment. The spectators were hanging off his every word, even when he was telling a story with no obvious joke on the horizon the crowd were largely silent paying Keilty the ultimate respect. There were moments of brilliance, one of which I’m sure was accidental when he brought up Oscar Pistorius and the audience murmured their distaste at the mention of the South African former Paralympian so Keilty responded ‘run with me on this one’ before acknowledging what he’d actually said and adding ‘not like that’.

Overall the show was highly enjoyable, it is clear to see why Keilty is such a popular member of the comedy circuit. It was a shame that the set ended with him reading out things the audience had written rather than, for example, a killer piece of observational comedy that left the spectators in stitches but maybe that goes some way to explaining why Keilty was playing the Quays Theatre rather than the Lyric Theatre next door. Having said that it was undeniably an amusing and entertaining experience courtesy of the charismatic Irishman.

By: Jordan Davies

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