Monday, August 04, 2008

Neil Delamere: Creme Delamere

Neil Delamere: Crème Delamere
Lisa Richards In Association With Edcom8

Irish comedian Neil Delamere has good home support at this Fringe. The inevitable ‘Who here is from Ireland?’ question at the start of the show was met with a telling cheer from 90% of the audience, while the 2% English contingent remained resolutely tentative.

Delamere’s popularity with the Irish is due to his role as a presenter for The Panel, a weekly chat show that broadcasts on Ireland’s RTE Two which has also featured fellow comedians Ed Byrne, Dara O’Briain and Andrew Maxwell.

The vague concept of Crème Delamere is a holiday Delamere spent in Stockholm getting kicked out of galleries, near misses with trams and awkward sex with a 6’2” Swedish stunner involving the Bible and a phone book. These instances provide Delamere with excuses to go off on comedic tangents that are charmingly humourous and thankfully devoid of clichés but which are too disparate, sounding like a list of unrelated events, to create any sense of a cohesive whole.

There are obvious signs of talent, the charm he works on the audience and an off-the-cuff joke involving a recently engaged couple, an old antique dealer, a policeman and a philosophy student sitting in the audience highlight a quick wit and none of the jokes fall flat, but at no point does Delamere raise the show beyond the safe, comfortable and cosy level which it needs.

The fact that Byrne and O’Briain have become household names this side of the sea while Delamere remains a relative unknown stand-up speaks volumes about Café Delamere.

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