A review by Bernie Whelan for EXTRA! EXTRA!


Latchicko Productions presents


Around the World on 80 Quid




Written, directed and performed by Aindrias de Staic 


Pleasance Theatre

27 March 2011


Aindrias de Staic is an Irish cross between Russell Brand and Ken Dodd, with all the mad hair, popping eyes and frenetic energy of both. Unlike Brand, he has musical talent, charming traditional Irish and Roma Gypsy tunes from his battered  fiddle. Unlike Ken Dodd, he is not a stand up comedian - there are no obvious gags as the humour arises from his stage Irish persona. At the Pleasance Theatre for one night only, this semi-autobiographical account of his rambles has won awards on the Edinburgh and New Zealand Fringe and has been around the world since it began life above a Galway pub in 2006, so he may have banked a few more than the 80 quid he started out with since then. The show's now on its way back to the Edinburgh Festival, so what better place to give it an airing than The Pleasance in Islington which has a sister theatre on the Edinburgh Fringe.

Aindrias de Staic relates how he stumbled in a drink and drug induced haze from Irish pub to Irish pub around the world, playing his fiddle and making observations, chiefly about Australians. Having to leave Galway in a hurry, he accidentally finds himself in the middle of the G8 protest in Genoa getting hit with the 'big white shticks' of the Italian police and coping quite well with tear gas: “it’s like a tequila hangover, or a tequila with absinthe and cough mixture hangover. Like that, but multiplied by 17. Your eyes fall in, your teeth fall out, your brain comes tumbling down your snout! Getting tear gassed is NOT a pleasant experience.” He had just spent 49 hours on a bus and was starving – “Everyone was talking about socialism and sharing but no one would even give me a bite of their sandwich!” He joined the Gypsy train in Hungary, only to wake up in Budapest tied to a tree without money or a passport but made it down under to sell Ecstasy tablets on the beach. After a sobering fire in which he lost his fiddle, he detoxed and now scrubs up as a healthy looking hippie in a flowery shirt. His stlye is in the tradition of seanchas, but it's traditional Irish storytelling for a new generation. The yarns are punctuated with snatches of tunes from many European traditions, at one point he abandons the fiddle for a rope and broom, riffing like Christy Moore with many 'diddly-idle-diddle-i's to the great delight of the audience. After a standing ovation, he came back out to ask the audience what they thought, feeling that it 'went a bit flat in the middle', obviously anxious to tighten things up a bit before he takes the show back to Edinburgh.

This is an enjoyable show, heavily dependent on the 'luck of the Irish' as Aindrias de Staic wings his way through 90 minutes, which fly by because he is so likeable. He is just the kind of guy you would stand drinks for, just to see what mad thing he might do or say next. He can have a bite of my sandwich anytime.





Aindrias de Staic opens this week at the Arts Theatre with Woody Sez.



Pleasance Theatre
Carpenters Mews, North Road, London N7 9EF


8pm, Sunday 27th March


Box office:  020 7609 1800



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