Carl Donnelly @ Heroes, BlundaBus

Carl Donnelly is anything but a blunderbuss as he subtly recounts his failed hallucinogenic 'cleanses'

Review by Sophia Shluger | 15 Aug 2017
  • Carl Donnelly

This is a trippy journey on a stationary bus. Packed in tightly amid retro '70s rock music, the audience embarks on a comic spiritual journey with this master of off-the-cuff. And what better (read: ironic) place to host a show about “trips” then aboard the top deck of a reconstituted double-decker that has actually taken people places. As we learn, this is in stark contrast to his remarkable failures in reaching “spiritland” or drug induced euphorias. But it's the journey and not the destination that matters and there’s something extremely likeable about this stand up. Donnelly's natural conversant style is powerful visually and transcends even the most unrelatable experiences such as meeting one's exes or improperly self-administering iowaska tea.

Funny but sweet rejoinders and tangents dot tales of shamanic encounters, conspiracy theories and multiple attempts to resuscitate his life using unorthodox methods. At one point, when an audience member spills beer, Donnelly quickly laments it might be due to the curvature of the Earth, an intentional dig against flat-Earth conspiracy theorists he politely ripped into earlier. The show is as packed as Donnelly's neurosis is complex, and by the end he's almost exonerated of nuttiness through the sincerity of his thoughts and feelings on the matter.

Carl Donnelly: Nutter on a Bus, Heroes at the BlundaBus (Top Deck), 3-27 Aug (not 9 or 16), 7.30pm, £6-7/PWYW