A storyteller at heart

Tommy Tiernan, Stray Sod @Soho Theatre, London

By Leah Quinn

TOMMY Tiernan’s career has taken more twists and turns than your average country road.

In previous years the bearded funnyman has made the unusual journey from comedic king to villain in the eyes of many a critic as his often risky choice of material and energetic outbursts have turned more than a few heads and not always for the rights reasons.

His latest performance in Dean Street’s Soho Theatre, however, proved that his best days may still lie ahead of him as Tiernan boisterously returned with a whimsical charm, a trait of his which originally attracted a very large following.

His rugged features, yet childlike mannerisms brought not only comedy wisdom but also sheer lunacy, a concoction for which few comedians seem to have the ingredients.

The material for Stray Sod seems to be mainly focused on the absurdities of human nature and the bizarre cultural differences we encounter as we travel.

In what felt like a very fast moving hour and a half, he touched on the Irish in Australia, ignorance in the Irish countryside, French lessons in school, his ginger-haired child, his thoughts on Londoners, how to distinguish which county an Irish woman is from, the news and weather, his offensive jokes in the past and the backlash he has faced since, celebrity magazines, the noises fields make at night and his mother’s funeral – all of which were delivered in Tiernan’s mischievous yet alluring style of delivery, the audience hanging on his every word.

Though this current show is much ‘safer’ than some of his previous stuff Tiernan still brings a refreshingly dare-devil approach – he doesn’t exactly hold back with his opinions.

And judging by his witty yet careful handling of a raucous heckler in the front row, Tiernan is still not afraid to speak his mind but has now mastered doing so with a pinch more affliction.

Stray Sod not only proves that Tiernan has surpassed the dark cloud that once hung over his career and triumphed by staying true to his original style but,more importantly, he may be a comedian by profession, but he is a true story-teller at heart.



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