There are few comedians less offensive than David O'Doherty. A gentle Irish lad in a baseball cap, always armed with his trusty Yamaha, he appears to offer a refuge of hope in a Fringe full of Frankie Boyles and Doug Stanhopes. He innocently imagines his life parallel to Tiger Woods and tells of numerous goofs on live Irish radio. But among the gentle laughter there is a slightly darker tone to O'Doherty's act.
He may have "very mild superpowers" but there is something lingering beneath his pleasant façade that indicates a more general discomfort with the world and his situation within it. He peppers his material with sketches that trace his route into stand-up comedy, and while these are clearly fictionalised, it does suggest that he is trying to ask himself why he is here, and why we are here watching him.
Perhaps O'Doherty is just put off by the fact that the walls of this small venue at the front of the Assembly Rooms are paper thin. He is visibly distracted by the noise emanating from the gaggle of punters outside the door, and the big band music coming from the other side has a similar effect. But this slight lack of focus detracts little from his natural affability, and the unevenness of his material is more than offset by the characteristic charm that surrounds all his gigs.
David O'Doherty is My Name, Assembly Rooms, until August 28, 22:00, £12/£11 (£11/£10).http://www.davidodoherty.com
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