Michael J Dolan: Dress To Depress

Article by Bernard O'Leary | 15 Aug 2011
  • Michael J Dolan: Dress To Depress

Michael J Dolan is - whisper it - a lot like Dylan Moran. Such a comparison could be unhelpful to new comics, but there's more to this than Dolan's persona and delivery. He's also got Moran's knack for writing sharp and surprising jokes.

Dress To Depress is a hilarious piece of merry misanthropy in which Dolan takes us through the good things in his life and explains why he hates them. His friends? Hates them. His cat? Total bastard. His girlfriend gets the worst of it, but all of this hatred is played with a clever irony which suggests that the problem is really himself.

The self-loathing permeates the set, especially when he questions the wisdom of an audience who would choose to see him, even for free. It seems to be genuine, and occasionally creates moments of nervousness. Dolan is sometimes thrown when the audience start shifting around (purely because the room is so packed) and doesn't seem to be aware how much we're all enjoying this show.

A bit more self-belief would help Dolan achieve true greatness. Comparing him to legends like Moran may be counterproductive in building up his confidence, as will mentioning that he's hotly tipped for Best Newcomer (according to the guy handing out his flyers, anyway). So let's just focus on this instead: Michael J Dolan is a very, very funny man.

Michael J Dolan: Dress To Depress, Laughing Horse @ The White Horse, 5-28 August (not 15), 18:10.

Part of the Free Festival