Oh oh, he’s an alien, he’s a legal alien, an Irishman living near Watford. Having come to the UK to further his stand-up career, Andrew Ryan finds himself at the age of 35 with no assets and no meaningful relationship to speak of to date. What’s more, some bloke at a local gig just told him to fuck off back home, “you dirty little leprechaun”. Ryan is understandably taken aback.
While his horror at the jibe is presumably exaggerated, the fact that he’s woven an entire show around the heckle shows it must have struck a chord on some level. As a result of the yob’s outburst, Ryan devotes a significant portion of the hour to preaching love and understanding in the face of intolerance and abuse, arguing that every single person, every single emotion and every single attack has a back story and an explanation.
It’s a lofty sentiment and one which, along with his easy charm and instant likeability, endears him to the audience from the get-go. Everyone deserves a second chance, according to Ryan, but though he might channel the spirit of Michelle Obama to turn the other cheek, his patience is not perpetual and his forgiveness not always guaranteed. Transgress repeatedly, he argues, and they should lock you up and throw away the key (or pop it under his mammy’s flowerpots, whichever you prefer).
It’s a reasoned and rational argument which is hard to oppose, but it’s not always conducive to good comedy. We might agree wholeheartedly with his views – especially when we hear their own particular back story – but that doesn’t mean he’s going to waltz off with any Amused Moose paraphernalia as a result. Fortunately, there are some straighter-shooting gags about Brexit (including a delightfully dissected interview with a British couple in an Irish newspaper), estate agents and his dear old ma to keep the laughs coming.
What have we learned from our hour with Ryan? Probably nothing we didn’t already know, or that we couldn’t read in a Chinese fortune cookie. Be yourself, treat others with respect… and don’t impersonate an Irish accent in front of the natives. They don’t take too kindly to that, so careful now. Down with that sort of thing.