Rory Sheridan’s Tales of the Antarctica does well to compliment David O'Doherty's stand-up expertise. The show casts the Irish comic as a versatile performer, O'Doherty indulging in the inherently fantastical nature of his character-driven concept show.
Its story concerns the endeavours of would-be Antarctic explorer Rory Sheridan, the intricacies of his trip to the icy plains abroad taking center stage. Sheridan is depicted as the reluctant protagonist of his own tale, forced not only to embark on the dangerous quest in the first place, but made to present accounts of his expedition, thanks to extensive debts accumulated over the trip. O'Doherty plays the character to a tee, cutting a forceful and mildly exasperated figure. It's as if Sheridan himself notes the ridiculousness of his circumstances. Pleasingly, O'Doherty taps into much of the charm and charisma characteristic of his stand-up routines to make this theatre show entertaining.
The one drawback of the show is, perhaps, its refusal to come up for air. O'Doherty is relentless in his performance, dissecting seemingly every possible element of Sheridan's trip. Though funny, there's a lot to take in, the audience forced to keep up at all times. There's the consolation that, again, it's all part of O'Doherty's performance, though Rory Sheridan's Tales Of The Antarctica demands that the punter truly concentrate and have their wits about them.
The frequently amusing Rory Sheridan's Tales Of The Antarctica is worth a look, especially for long time D.O.D. fans. One can't help but feel however that, out of O'Doherty's two shows at the festival this year, his stand-up venture will reign supreme.