This Fringe, we are treated to Developing the Country as a Hole, the new stand-up show from Abie Philbin Bowman (Irish Pictorial Weekly, Callan’s Kicks, Arena, Jesus: The Guantanamo Years). Our hour with Abie brings us on a fast-paced journey of personal anecdotes, current affairs and subversive political satire, punctuated with nerdy humour of the so-bad-it’s-good variety.
From the get-go, the audience is on Abie’s side. His comedy sits somewhere between Woody Allen and Jon Stewart, and he has a handsome-Hobbit quality that instantly endears. The intimate basement setting of Sweeney’s lends itself well. The show blends lighter material (like his Netflix-relationship paradigm), intellectual commentary (refugee crisis, Irish economy) and filthy toilet humour – the audience favourite, naturally. It sounds crass, but Bowman excels at sex jokes.
Bowman is a thoughtful and quick-witted comic, and has worked hard on Developing the Country, but his show might benefit from a varying of overall pace. The occasionally niche subject matter and agitated delivery leads to the loss of some (otherwise very funny) punchlines. The nervous energy works in his favour most of the time, but the show could be restructured to flow slightly better. That said, Abie Philbin Bowman has a solid comic persona, and he left the audience wanting more.
Dates: Sep 07 — 12 @ 20:45.
Tickets: €13 / €11 conc. [Buy tickets]
Venue: Sweeney’s Underbelly