Tommy Tiernan: Stray Sod, comedy review

Soho Theatre, London

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The Independent Culture

With a sermon-like delivery half-way between home hearth and hellfire, Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan romps through his latest bawdy hour of observational comedy.

Only once does he let his energy level drop, for a forced (and rather indulgent) passage that allows us to see the join between his Irish travelogue shtick and a tacked on nod to religion, death, sex and family.

Stray Sod is, as the title suggests, a little wayward and perhaps less consequential than some of the 44-year-old former Perrier winner's previous work. Despite this, it comes with some rich imagery and succinct lyricism. Of the invention of the submarine by an Irishman he remarks: “oh yes, a boat for under the water, that's where the craic is at!”

Unapologetically Irish in his cultural references, yet still accessible, Tiernan's politically incorrect musings on his fellow countrymen, and women, could come across as denigrating were he not so eager to celebrate his membership to what he calls a “broke ass, do nothing, sing-song” culture.

The last third of the show, prefaced by a random Bob Dylan impression, tries to squeeze a number of wide themes into a small space. In his hurry to do himself justice Tiernan still resonates even if he doesn't always shine.

Until February 1, Soho Theatre, 0207 478 0100, touring til May 2,