Andrew Ryan is a name I recognise from a videogame called Bioshock which is based on an alternative history where an underwater civilization was built according to the theories of Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand and Andrew Ryan – those are linked for me now. So what better way to flush away those toxic teachings than with an alternative Andrew Ryan in a current and real timeline.
If I have learned anything from the Fringe, it’s that a great audience changes everything and boy, does it enhance the show tonight. Once Ryan has taken to the stage, he does a bit of crowd interaction. Well, I say a bit but it opens the door for a very chatty front row who, it turns out, actually come from several of the places Ryan slaggs off during his introduction. The room feels electric tonight and the enjoyment radiates from everyone here.
I’m with my friend Lara and we’ve just come from a free Fringe show – that I will not name – that featured the worst fifteen minutes of stand up either of us have witnessed. It was the kind of twist your arms in front of you and contort your body in your seat type of bad; where if someone offered you a choice between fifteen more minutes or eating a broken glass sandwich you’d choose tasting glass.
As we left that show, other members of the crowd complained about the same section in hushed tones so it was a pure joy that the opening fifteen minutes of Andrew Ryan’s show was just laugh out loud funny. The show examines some of Ryan’s issues (politics, home ownership, crime, love) but framed with the narrative of an immigrant who, at a recent show, was heckled and told to go back home. A particular favourite story involves an escalating argument in Santander about whether or not Cork is in the United Kingdom.
Midway through the show, I realise I’ve been laughing harder than at many of the other shows I’ve seen this week. While I acknowledge I have a weakness for angry Irishman venting (see my Andrew Maxwell review) the rest of the crowd are in stitches too as Ryan delivers an hour of big laughs and great entertainment.
Did You Get Here Alright? runs until 27th August at Assembly George Square Studios, 18:45.