Belfast Telegraph

Patrick Kielty's back as a married man and needs no Help getting laughs

Review: Patrick Kielty at Grand Opera House

By Andrew Johnston

Patrick Kielty returned to Belfast’s Grand Opera House to premiere his latest stand-up show, a daring piece of concept comedy entitled Help.

It may have been laughter therapy his homeland fans were after, but they found themselves in the role of the therapist, with Kielty on the metaphorical couch.

Before Dundrum’s funniest unleashed himself on the sold-out theatre, up-and-coming comic Micky Bartlett braved the iconic boards.

If he was as nervous as he claimed to be, the 28-year-old from Lurgan didn’t let it get to him.

The supremely assured Bartlett rattled off half an hour of anecdotes, observations and at least one fine pun involving “the 2,000-year-old version of Boots”, but I won’t spoil the punchline.

It was slick and sharp stuff, with belly laughs bursting forth from the stalls in all the right places.

The audience’s funny bones primed, Kielty got stuck straight in to his new material.

Help is neither a paean to the Beatles nor a sideways look at the lives of black maids during America’s Civil Rights era.

Instead, Kielty is reaching out for suggestions of dos and don’ts regarding his marriage to Cat Deeley and his self-confessed charmed life. If it sounds like an exercise in rubbing a thousand people’s faces in it, Kielty lathered last night’s 90-minute set in his trademark roguish charm, and somehow had a millionaire comedian with a model wife crying on a roomful of strangers’ shoulders.

The trick was it was all hilarious. Having refocused on stand-up in recent years, after conquering the worlds of television and radio, Help is a wondrous culmination of Kielty’s latter-day comedic efforts. It represents a more mature comedian, one who can explore some serious subjects, while still knocking out the odd masturbation joke.

Four stars

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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