Are You Havin’ a Laugh? written by Peter Sheridan – Review by Frank L
March 30 – April 18, 2015
Time: 1pm (doors at 12.50pm)
Peter Sheridan having written three books of memoir now has created a humorous show about Dubliners of which he has a fund of wisdom and insight, possibly unequaled, honed and developed by his own experiences.
The temporary residence of Bewleys Café Theatre at Powerscourt is a space which is reminiscent to a degree of a not much loved community hall. It has a comparatively large, forbidding raised stage. Not an easy space in which to become friendly with your audience. However Peter Sheridan strolled in from the back of the hall along the side insouciantly until he reached the foot of the stage from where he spoke to the audience, as if he was just going to have a little chat. He was relaxed. The rest of us were welcome to listen. He was performing and was in his element. It was as if the audience just happened to be there by chance. Of course, he was delighted that they were. He would entertain them with some of his repartee. He then took to stage having won his audience. Impressive.
He then by various stories and anecdotes kept the audience entranced every now and again taking up his guitar to accompany himself in one or two ballads. Occasionally leaving the Dublin theme, he also managed to throw in a Woody Allen and Jack Benny joke which he executed, without entirely mastering the accent, stylishly and affectionately to the delight of his audience. However what lifts his story telling into an art form is his high level of comic timing, a certain dead pan delivery of the punch line and small but significant body movements. Of these there were several examples, the most memorable being that of a football referee sending off an offending player before the world of the red card. It is a simple but authoritative movement. It makes you regret that the red card now exists. He has stage presence.
This is a type of entertainment which comes from a genre that seems to have almost disappeared into the past… it is a sort of child of Vaudeville. Peter Sheridan shows how seriously enjoyable it can be when performed by a master.