Review: Dara O’Briain – Voice of Reason

Welcome to Sheffield

Dara O’Briain’s new show, Voice of Reason, is the perfect showcase for his own brand of imaginative storytelling, whether discussing the pitfalls of VR headsets, the everyday feeling of shopping for a tapestry or the separation anxiety you feel when the builders finally leave, his ability to universalise experiences for his audience exemplifies his acute observational skills and breadth experience in the entertainment industry.

The nerdy enthusiasm with which Dara discusses science and
technology is infectious. He highlights the joyful potential of Amazon Alexa to
terrify your family from afar in a way that celebrates the possibilities for
inventiveness and fun inherent in new technologies. He revels in moments of
imperfection, such as the ability of voice recognition software to publicly undermine
you at a crucial moment, in a way that encourages his audiences to embrace the
flaws of technology rather than to criticise.

The comedy of embarrassment is also a recurring theme in his
show. Whether at the hands of an exasperated doctor, an amused policeman, or
the discovery of someone else’s Google search history he toys with the moments
of awkward uncomfortableness that pepper all our social interactions.

From accidental misquotes to the appearance of a click-bait
article graphically describing his death at the hands of maverick driver Mark
Bean, O’Briain points out the pockets of hilarity in his everyday life whilst
critiquing the nature of modern media. His witty, cerebral assessment of his
role as a broadcaster on Stargazing Live is both highly entertaining and hints
at the impossibility of pleasing your entire audience, no matter how hard you
try. Although, it cannot be denied that what we all aspire to in life is to
find someone that looks at them the way that Dara looks at Professor Brian Cox.

His confidence and fast-paced delivery transforms his
descriptions of middle aged life into a riotous vision of jocular domesticity.
Having fine-tuned his observational abilities over the years, O’Briain delivers
a masterfully written performance that builds on itself throughout the show.
However, it is also a routine that draws at attention to its own creation
process, discussing the ways in which comedians must make their work applicable
to the Latinos of Northern Norway and acceptable to the strict censorship laws
of Dubai. Dara O’Briain’s hilarious Voice
of Reason
cuts through the static of modern life and proves, once again,
why he is the uncontested, charismatic face of British nerdiness.


See tickets here.

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Echo Callaghan

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