Comedy review: Michael Stranney, Welcome to Ballybeg

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Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Michael Stranney’s lightly touched character Daniel Duffy exists in a similar charmed universe to that of Father Ted, just shy of paddywhackery thanks to his creator’s delightfully rich devotion to detail.

Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)
***

Presenting an introduction to his home town for tourists, Duffy is a naïve, innocent soul who imagines the rural, Northern Irish backwater the equal of anywhere for diversion and excitement, its slow, old-fashioned way of life never impinging upon his civic pride and devotion to his ambassadorial role.

Employing a temperamental projector-cum-barbecue supplied by a copyright-infringing local businessman and a succession of slides and video footage, Duffy introduces his peculiar neighbours and the town’s quirky history. His unwitting testimony to its crushing dullness, borne from Stranney’s straight-faced delivery and superb timing, ensures that you fully invest in him finishing his talk. Just to be sure however, there’s a romantic subplot about the object of his affections leaving on a flight to Ouagadougou before he can invite her to a dance competition, a familiar trope but nicely executed all the same.

Over an hour, the whimsy can occasionally feel too relaxed and cosy. But an eminently quotable line or demented visual image are never too far away.

Until 25 August. Today 6pm.