We Are All in the Gutter, but Some of us Are Looking at David O'Doherty

There's something refreshingly blunt about the way David O'Doherty climbs onto the stage and starts his performance. No introduction, no preamble, just a tall man with a small piano, yelling at the audience with his characteristic cheerful zeal. The venue is the Palace Nova (that's the upstairs one) and there's something rather charming about a cinema being temporarily converted into a theatre.

If you've seen him before (live or on television) you'll recognize his 1986 portable keyboard, which he is rarely seen without. There are a few songs in the show, new and old, as well as a good dose of his usual very low-impact set-trashing, with his chair and his microphone both getting a taste of his wrath. He's an unusually physical performer – that is, he's physical in an unusual way, delivering a few punchlines from the floor of the stage.

The heart of the show, though, is the storytelling, which almost seems to happen by accident between the high-intensity musical numbers. Stories from O'Doherty's childhood in Ireland are riotously funny, and include one or two unexpectedly heartwarming moments as well. Don't let the chaotic, off-kilter feel fool you – this is a well-written and tautly constructed hour of comedy from a seasoned performer.

David O'Doherty is awkward in the most charming way imaginable and very much worth seeing.

★★★★