John-Paul Stephenson

Review: Patrick Monahan: Cake Charmer – Baltic Square, Gateshead Quays

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Patrick Monahan loves life. And cake.

He exudes positivity as he enthusiastically bounds up to the stage, hugging everyone who wants to be hugged, and probably a few who don’t.

It’s actually rather difficult to review Cake Charmer – his 2013 Edinburgh show – because Monahan only got round to performing a relatively small proportion of it tonight, despite being on stage for well over an hour.

Instead, we get a first class demonstration of Monahan’s charm and ability to improvise an extended routine based on more immediate issues, with the jokes being as funny and as articulate as if they had been previewed.

Tonight, Monahan spends a lot of time giving a much-needed dissection of the confusion around Jesterval’s portable loos.

For some reason, only one of the seven identical – identical, I say – portaloos (or whichever brand these particular loos were) were designated for ‘gents’.

From this, we can clearly deduce that the festival is clearly biased towards women, and it’s good to see the men rebelling; the revelootion starts at Gateshead Quays.

The immediacy makes Monahan all the more funny and impressive, since his inspiration is more unique than some of the generic improvisation we normally get.

The performance is sustained, with no discernible difference in quality between Loogate and the celebration of cake. He delivers high quality light relief.

Monahan’s humanity was given centre stage during an incredible moment towards the end of tonight’s show when a homeless man wandered into the tent and joined him on stage for a song and a cuddle.

Pat loves life, and life loves him.

Date of live review: Thursday 3 October 2013 @ Jesterval Comedy Festival

Jesterval runs at Baltic Square Gateshead Quays until Monday 7 October. The programme is on its website.