Irish comedians: Dylan Moran, Ardal O'Hanlon and Tommy Tiernan _320
THE Three Fellas – Irish stand-ups Ardal O’Hanlon, Dylan Moran and Tommy Tiernan – brought “the biggest comedy show we’ve ever ‘ad” to Liverpool on Saturday, in the words of compere John Bishop, and it worked brilliantly.
It was the idea of Liverpool-born promoter Mick Perrin to host a huge comedy show at the Arena in 2008 to celebrate the links between Liverpool and Ireland, providing the biggest audience to date for all the acts concerned.
And it was a meeting of minds that worked a treat. O’Hanlon and his bam- boozled observations, Moran’s embittered whimsy and Tiernan’s riotous smut offered a wealth of comedy riches for the 6,000-strong crowd.
John Bishop seemed to enjoy himself, with material geared towards the home crowd and the visiting Irish.
As the first onstage, O’Hanlon was wide-eyed and as overwhelmed as his best-loved character, Father Ted’s Dougal McGuire.
Perhaps sometimes underestimated as a stand-up, his charming set provided some of the most consistent laughs of the evening.
Black Books star Moran received a rock star’s welcome as, glass of red in hand, he reamed off his latest grievances with typical poetic scorn.
He also swiftly shut up one dissenter with incredible skill.
Tiernan is a huge draw in Ireland and it was immediately clear why he had been saved till last.
His performance, reminiscent of Billy Connolly, is a reminder that the best comedy is fearless and can take on any subject, no matter how near the knuckle.