+ Memory Man

reviews

Edinburgh Festival 2013

The educational theme then continued as I attended Scottish comedian John Obrien’s (Obie’s) show about how to improve your memory. (Obie: A comedian’s Guide to Improving your Memory 4****). I met Obie on the comedy circuit a couple of years ago and I have found his work very interesting. Obie runs workshops in stand-up comedy and memory training and I have attended both and learned a great deal from them. I was intrigued as to how he would merge his comedy with a memory workshop in just an hour. Especially while stating that the audience would “improve their memory”. Could he manage this while also making the audience laugh? Yes – he did.

The thing that I admired most about this set, was the excellent and expert structure of the hour. So much stand-up I have seen is haphazard or lacking in direction, but Obie with this show had a tight and perfectly crafted structure while still allowing for spontaneity, improvisation, audience banter and responding to anyone that happened to call anything out.

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The international audience that the Fringe brings is no mean feat for anyone with a thick accent, never mind a proper Glaswegian. It was quite amusing watching the deep concentration from an Israeli couple as they tried to follow Obie’s Glasgow vernacular. But as the show played out the man in the couple chipped in a good few times so he had managed to follow which was impressive in itself.

Within this hour  Obie managed to create a great rapport with the crowd, show off his own memory skills which were very impressive, shared how he did this with the audience and allowed them to try out their new skills. None of this dragged at all and it all flowed brilliantly with a neatly tied and timed ending. The audience were delighted with the show and one guy who had been grinning ear to ear the whole way through the performance happily slapped a tenner in the bucket at the end while raving about the hour to his girlfriend.

This routine was laugh out loud funny, wonderfully packaged, included much audience interaction and delivered on the claim that the audience would learn something along the way.

Check it out if you like Glasgow banter, improv, Derren Brown or just fancy a guaranteed good hour on the Free Fringe.

 

Leicester Comedy Festival.

Leicester comedy festival…..
Obie was by far the funnest guy i saw in the entire two weeks
some comics are good writers some are good performers some have a natural ability this guy has it all… before the show even started he had the mic in his hand like he wanted to splurge out a million and one funny things to say picking up on people that had just walked in, observations about awkward audience members in the previous show were solid gold and funnier than some comics best gags,  nothing overly complicated and too taxing id recommend him to a wide variety of my friends and will defiantly see him again when i get the chance 5 *****

 

Obie: Living The Dream
Obie
An hour of charming Glaswegian banter, mostly about Glaswegians. Sound clichéd? Well, yes it was a bit but it was also hilariously funny. Stand-up of ten years Obie (who’s real name is John), took us through the ways he proposed to better his life – get a girlfriend, a better job, get more fit and be happier – in this side-splitting, feel good comedy show. As well as the predictable sex jokes, this likeable comedian entertained the audience with a dark yet comic take on children’s’ nursery rhymes. Animated and full of expression, his witty impersonations (including one of a cross-eyed policeman with a lisp) had me in stitches. This is laugh-out-loud comedy, with a strong theme that is carried through to the end.
Laughing Horse @ Edinburgh City Football Club, 6 – 30 Aug (not 10, 17, 24), 7.15pm (8.15pm), free, fpp83.

Reviews from other comics.

Did Absolute Beginners with him tonight… and this guy is immense! I enjoyed his 20min set a lot, and whenever I see him on the bill in future.. I’ll be there!
To top it off, he’s a great guy too and gave some advice which I appreciate! “ Norman Munrow”

I’ve seen Obie before, but in the last year or so he has turned it upto 11! Saw his 20 minute slot at ABs last night and he had the place in stitches with his self depraving drunken comedy style. Boobies “ Murry

Did a gig with him at the Halt last night… A manic delivery. Great punchlines and a nice surreal tangent in the middle. Worked the audience masterfully….
Got talking to him after and he’s a really nice bloke to top it off…
A Top Pro…. “ Pearce O’ Hanlon”

Obie opened at the State last night and Christ he was good. Flair, relaxed confidence tinged with just the right amount of mania, and some kick-a**e material I hadn’t heard before.
Got the room rocking from the off.
Played.  “ Neil Mc Farline.

At Wickerman Festival in July, he was awesomely good on the Saturday “Vladimere Mc Tavish”.

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