Michael J Dolan Edinburgh Fringe review
Andrew Mickel27 August 2011
34 is a strange age for a man to be as angry as Michael J Dolan, and the audience in his show last night certainly seemed to take a while to get a measure of him.
He's not angry in a juvenile sense, although he certainly rages against the entire world; he doesn't exactly have the world-weariness of an old grump, although there isn't anyone or anything that escapes his anger.
The result is a spiky hour of laughs that the rambling angry man tag Dolan has taken on doesn't entirely do justice.
Raging comics tend to get a bit boring after a while, and Dolan would be the same were his arguments not so tight. He's a raging id, eloquently giving voice to the bit inside everyone who sometimes really do feel that their friends are energy burglars, or that health-conscious friends have had all the joy sucked out of them.
Even when his arguments seem a bit off-target – the supposed misery of holidays, the pros and cons of Ryan Gosling – they contain enough original material to keep the hour fresh.
This is the sort of show that audience members who have had enough of comedians trying to be upbeat will get the most out of. Having just seen the excellent but unremittingly positive Jason Cook, Dolan was an ideal contrast to provide some rebalancing of mood.
He does lose his direction with his material a few times, and a fairly indifferent audience can't have helped. There does seem to be a lack of self-belief that is leaving him open to getting thrown by people not going with him on certain jokes.
But there's enough surprising material on offer that he shouldn't be. With more focus on digging up great lines and dumping the less original material – step forward, cat litter jokes – this could be a great hour of anger.
Your rating: None
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