Molly Stewart

Latitude Festival comedy review: Pat Cahill

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Pat Cahill is a comedian who is almost more performer than comic, so full is his set with more than just straight forward jokes – costume (of sorts), music, visual gags with a microphone cable and a sexual word-play laden act out to a descriptive engineering track.

He’s in league with the likes of John Kearns (and often on stage with him) and Spencer Jones in terms of inventive, bizarre show pieces and more-than-meets-the-eye gags.

His Latitude set – in the Cabaret Tent, Kearns’ home last year – was joyous in its bombarding the audience with pure fun. Cahill is straightforward: silly, enjoyable. And he involves the audience in generating laughs for himself (apparently). This could work as a pseudo children’s show: energetic and daft, with prop comedy and just the right level of toilet humour, while packing an over-the-head punch.

In particular, his almost dance routine to a mini lecture regarding valves releasing fluid broke up Cahill’s almost post-war style segments with a youthfully hilarious skit that impressed a varied audience.

Cahill’s musical comedy has always been impressively bouncy. As well-thought out and written as it is, there’s nothing sleek about it; it isn’t dully intelligent or overly dressy – it’s clever and simple, and obviously funny. His set was so tightly packed with mock-wartime morale songs that it’s verging on a full-blown music-hall set to cheer up the troops. Routines like this give him an edge.

It’s very easy to like Cahill because he makes his comedy so easily likable. Nothing in his set is overly complicated or meta (aside perhaps from his asking the audience to consider when the last time was it tried to make a comedian laugh – though even this is punctuated with a nice, slightly absurdist but terrifically easy punchline about happy dogs).

Pat Cahill, it turns out, is perfect festival comedy fair.

Date of live review: Friday 17 July 2015 @ Henham Park, Suffolk.