Latitude review: Dylan Moran in the Comedy Arena

Dylan Moran.

Dylan Moran. - Credit: Archant

One of the most highly-anticipated acts of this year's Latitude Comedy Arena was top Irish stand-up comic Dylan Moran.

The star of cult TV comedy Black Books lived up to his reputation as one of the top names in British comedy as festival-goers strained their limbs to try and get a view in the packed-out arena this lunchtime.

His grumpy, put-upon husband and father routine sparkled just as much as one of his big arena tour sets, with Moran admitting it was quite odd for him to be performing during the day and being able to see the faces of all of his audience.

He seemed to enjoy the relaxed Latitude crowd though, talking about it being a 'middle class' festival and as being 'proper culture', joking that it is the only festival he had heard people ask 'where is the organic pesto?'.

With plenty of to-be-expected laughs at the expense of his Irish homeland, Moran kept his audience happy throughout the 45-minute set with a host of gags about his recent experiences.

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That included being mistaken for Hollywood actor Liam Neeson in New York, a fellow Irishman, something Moran said he was happy to go along with, despite the fact he appeared in movies such as Notting Hill and Shaun of the Dead himself.

He also stuck up for Germans, saying that they do have a sense of humour, despite the famous reputation, and talked of a prank played on him while travelling in Europe by a German.

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The main part of his set was focused on his new fictional novel, based on the 50 Shades of Grey erotic novel series, much of which was far too rude for this newspaper.

He also talked of his fantasy about actually having a 'real job' and about the pains of growing older, 'no one told me dreams get more boring as you get older,' he moaned.

Moran was named in the top 15 of Channel Four's 2010 list of 100 Greatest Stand-Ups and he proved exactly why with this cool, funny and entertaining performance which left the audience wanting more.

The lunchtime scheduling however meant the end of the set prompted a mass exodus of the Comedy Arena, leaving many feeling a little sorry for the next act, BBC Radio Six Music's breakfast show DJ, Shaun Keavenay.

Stand-up comedy continues to grow in popularity at Latitude and Moran was a perfect example of why. The popularity of comedy means individual tickets to stand-up gigs can easily cost upwards of £50 but at Latitude you get over 40 comedians, including top names such as Sean Lock, Moran and Eddie Izzard.

Based on this performance, I would quite happily pay upwards of £50 to see a longer performance from Moran, whose standing as one of my favourite comedians has only been strengthened by his Latitude laughs.

David Freezer

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