Review: David O’Doherty at The Kings Theatre, Southsea

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Have you ever wondered why seaweed looks so happy, how easy it would be to smuggle a Toblerone up the you-know-where or whether women are concealing bread in their elaborate hairdos?

Probably not, but fortunately David O’Doherty has, with often sidesplitting results.

It’s only a small audience – ‘whoever booked this theatre has overestimated my pulling power in Portsmouth by a factor of about 10,’ Doherty observes. But that doesn’t stop him extracting laugh after laugh from a warm and willing crowd.

Armed with just an electronic keyboard from the 1980s, the self-styled ‘Lidl Enya’ puts many of his whimsical, rambling thoughts to music, stabbing childishly at the keys while accompanied by the instrument’s tinny drum patterns.

At other times he just blethers on, wandering the stage, toying with the lighting engineer and musing on issues such as gay marriage, why attractive women date idiot men, and what happens when you mix protein powder with wine (it’s not easy on the bowels, apparently).

All this silliness is underpinned with the melancholy of a man in his late 30s realising his place in the world – especially when thoughts turn to terrorism, famine and why everyone else on social media is having far more fun than you. W

hat is laughter, he asks, if not happy screaming? Those of us who were there are lucky enough to know the answer.