The stage lights dim on one chair, one microphone. The words ‘hopefully’ are written out in masking tape on the curtain at the back of the stage. A man in an Adidas tracksuit jacket and a cap with a sweet tiny keyboard walks on stage. The music is still playing as he announces he’s the warm up act. It is of course the very man that all these people at the Enmore Theatre came to see. The one and only DOD.
That’s David O’Doherty if you’re not hip to the lingo.
David O’Doherty was eager to return to Sydney, and seems to love it in the most genuine way. When asked what he likes about Sydney, his favourite places to visit are Gleebooks, and “Australia’s greatest foodcourt”, the Broadway shopping centre.
This showed, as he was very at home in what was his 8th appearance at the Sydney Comedy Festival. He was so comfortable in fact that at one point in the show he just had a lie down on the stage and kept doing his routine, mic held above his face.
But routine is a funny way to describe what David O’Doherty does. Despite being in a theatre with so many people, and the fact that you can’t really talk back to him, it feels like a conversation. In this year’s conversation, David is trying to fix everything.
Talking to David before the show, he described the difficult juxtaposition of wanting to write a funny show in a time when “Western fascism started to rise”. In describing his show Big Time, he said:
All a person can do is their best, even if that means not fixing it at all.
And that’s the show. This framing idea of the show is equal parts hilarious and comforting. All of us left-wing bubble-habitating hipsters are teetering between the overwhelming global and the seemingly inconsequentially personal, and David is there with us.
Having spent a significant amount of time in Australia, while still being from another country adds another level of jovial familiarity. He picks on Australia’s weird ways and on the people in the audience, but not in a “COMEDIAN DESTROYS HECKLER” kind of way, more of a “your mate’s not afraid to tell you when you’re being too pretentious” vibe.
The ‘Big Time’ came in the form of full-on realities, absurd little observations, and song/stand-up played on his tiny keyboard about how different life would be if he’d stayed in telemarketing. By the time he’d finished the show (and an encore of a couple of popular older songs), we’d gotten our fair share of chuckles and belly laughs, but David O’Doherty left us with more than just a tickled funny bone. You could feel just a twinge of heightened optimism in the crowd, that everything would eventually turn out alright. ‘Hopefully’.
Listen to the full interview below: