Dylan Moran at The HexagonBy James Rampton
May 04, 2011
If I were you, I’d get on the phone to The Hexagon right away. Dylan Moran is visiting Reading this weekend – and tickets for his two shows are flying out of the door.
The stand-up described by one critic as “The Oscar Wilde of comedy” has an immense and devoted live following.
His previous live shows have filled venues across the world and sealed his reputation as one of the most brilliant, imaginative comedians of his generation.
One of Nature’s most charismatic curmudgeons, he is a mesmerising, magnetic stage presence – you cannot take your eyes off this spellbinding stand-up.
I’m not the only one who thinks so. Ever since Dylan became the youngest person – at 24 – to win the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 1996, reviewers have been lavishing praise on the Irish comic.
Now 39, Dylan has enjoyed enormous success on both the big and the small screen. He has starred in sitcoms and Hollywood films and won awards including a Bafta. But now he can’t wait to return to the stand-up arena.
He is as witty off stage as on it and makes for compelling company. In the run-up to the tour, he is excited about his new show.
“I get really energised by stand-up,” enthuses Dylan, who is married with two children.
“I love the spontaneity of a live performance – that’s a huge part of the appeal. It’s like a match about to strike a tinder – it can only occur once and you never know quite what will happen.
“I’ve still got a great passion for stand-up. I’m constantly writing new material, the taps are always running.”
Dylan says he will discuss the fragility of the modern world during the show.
“There is now a real sense of everything being precious and endangered and contingent on how we behave,” he explains.
“People do now seem to be questioning whether bull-in-a-china-shop capitalism is the right way.
“‘Responsible capitalism’ has always seemed like a contradiction in terms to me. It’s like ‘compassionate conservatism’ –
I don’t think there is such a thing.
“You can’t put any go-faster stripes or add-on bits on those ideas. You have to decide whether to have allotments or carrots made by lasers.”
In addition, the comic will be discussing the extent to which his life has been transformed by the arrival of his two children.
“As with any parent, being a father is a huge part of my life,” he says. “Suddenly, you see the world through your children’s eyes. You remind them how things were in your day. But they don’t care about that – to them, you’re just rambling about something from the past, and they only care about what’s around them now, quite rightly!
“The other thing about parenthood is that it’s impossible to remember what life before children was like.
“How did you fill all that time? You took half a day to eat a sandwich and talk rubbish with your friends about films.
“Overall, you stumble blindly into parenthood. It’s like human progress in general: we’re doing this without learning very much!”
Dylan is a delightful stand-up who ploughs his own furrow in glorious defiance of any prevailing trends.
“I never get caught up in fashion,” he smiles. “Trendy people change the slang on you, but it’s just the same stuff with a different label,” he says, adding “Who’s in and who’s out?
I can’t be doing with all that stuff.
“It’s an arena of scorn and preferment that never changes.
“But I’m not young any more – I don’t care if I’m in or I’m out. I’m just glad still to be standing.”