Patrick Kielty, Corn Exchange, Brighton

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The Independent Culture

With the constraints of mainstream TV cast aside, this was a chance for Kielty's public to see him in a new light. The first thing to note was a liberal sprinkling of profanity too often appearing where a punchline should be. The second was the regurgitation of clichés: how relaxed the Irish are; the annoyances and security flaws of air travel; how baseball's World Series is only contested by Americans. None of these would be novel to a comedy-goer, but there lies the rub: Kielty had an opportunity to surprise, but has gone from mainstream TV personality to regular comic.

After a long break, it's understandable that material needs dusting down. There, was for example, a reference to Aaron Barschak's stunt at Prince William's 21st birthday party, still just within the collective memory. The higher points included an amusing section on celebrities who are camera shy until filming their own lovemaking, and a tale about a near-crash in a helicopter with Neil Armstrong as co-passenger ("I don't want to be an 'also on board', I want my own crash").

A routine on the troubles in Northern Ireland, in particular nostalgia for the IRA in the wake of suicide bombings, has a particular relevance for the Northern Irish Catholic Kielty, whose father was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries. Knowing this raises expectations of particular insight, but aside from a nice line about IRA splinter groups ("real IRA, diet IRA, I can't believe it's not the IRA") Kielty doesn't draw on experience; arguably this is a matter of respect or a missed chance.

The second half was devoted to "why I hate you bitches". It wasn't so much misogynistic as lame, battle-of-the-sexes comedy by numbers: indecisive women, bitchy comments about clothes between women, their specifications on lovemaking. All pure observation, no real humour and tiresome. Kielty's reputation as a stand-up first time around was much vaunted in the run-up to his tour, but on this evidence he has a bit more warming up to do for his second coming.

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