Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Stand Up Man: Laughs on dark side of funny

Stand-up comedy has been the subject of several productions in recent years.

Into this less than inspiring fray comes Northern Ireland's C21 Theatre Company with Stand Up Man, running until February 8 at the Baby Grand.

Sold on local favourite Tim McGarry's presence, it actually features US-born Ulster stage stalwart Nick Hardin in the lead role of Thaddeus McGuinn, an altar boy-turned-club comic who sees himself as one of the greats.

Meanwhile, his alter ego-cum-conscience, Father Thad (McGarry), knows he's just "a sad, little man in a polyester suit".

Written by New Yorker Derek Murphy and directed by talented Belfast man Stephen Beggs, it's gruelling, often depressing stuff – surely not what McGarry fans expect – tipping over into out-and-out nihilism at certain points.

It's more tragic than comic, and is compelling enough with it.

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