Dara wows Corn Exchange

THERE is one place you don't want to sit at a comedy show and that's the front row.Unless you have an overwhelming desire to have the attention of the entire audience focussed directly on you the front row is just not the place to be.

DARA O'BRIAIN

Ipswich Corn Exchange

Last night>

THERE is one place you don't want to sit at a comedy show and that's the front row.

Unless you have an overwhelming desire to have the attention of the entire audience focussed directly on you the front row is just not the place to be.

Today there are half a dozen people who will carry a deepened sense of fear and loathing for the seats near the stage after last night's Dara O'Briain show at Ipswich's Corn Exchange.

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The imposing-looking Irish stand-up brought the audience to life during the first show on his latest national tour.

Sitting in the front seats proved not to be a place for the easily embarrassed. Virtually the entire show centred around the lives of the Ipswich landscape gardener, Stowmarket nightclub owner, Ipswich council worker, transport expert from London and a man who worked in insurance for the police who had the unfortunate role of front row targets.

There was also the journalist/head of production at The Evening Star who didn't escape O'Briain's super quick wit and lightning fast conversation.

O'Briain's strong Irish accent and machine-gun-like delivery meant his appeals for participation from the packed hall went largely unanswered during the first half of the show but he won them over in the end.

At times it was as if many couldn't keep up with his rapid-fire jokes, still digesting one comment as he raced through another story or dashed to interrogate another audience member.

Luckily for the 34-year-old the audience gradually caught up and he lucked upon a guide dog trainer who met his fiancé on a blind date early in the second half of the show and that provided him with enough jokes to carry him through.

By the end O'Briain had the whole audience cheering as he raced through a monologue, created on the spot, about the lives of the individuals who had gone out for a night's entertainment and ended up being the entertainment.

Given their appreciative response at the end of the show, the audience warmed to O'Briain's unpredictable approach and found themselves in awe of his ability to think on his feet.

Grant Sherlock

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