Rory O'Keeffe is a Fussy Eater

Sat 2nd – Sat 23rd August 2014


Rachel Mfon

at 02:59 on 14th Aug 2014



Rory O'Keeffe serves up a well-done stand up show. Written with precision and great attention to detail, the performance is indeed funny. Not quite laugh-out-loud-spit-your-food-out-your-mouth-and-ask-for-seconds kind of funny, it's just funny. Nevertheless, you would be tempted to leave a tip for the service. Rory's like-ability could make anything he says easy to swallow. His witty character is what keeps you hungry for more.

Cleverly, O'Keeffe introduces himself alongside some of the preconceptions given to white middle-class humour; pretentious and contrived. But his simultaneously charming and awkward interactions with the audience made him pleasurable company to dine with. During the show's starter we get a small slice of his background and his own issues with food. We learn that fussy eating O'Keeffe prefers his meals to be tidy and organised. Absolutely, no touching on the plate, all foods must be segregated. This same discipline shows in his performance. Giving particular attention to the structure and articulation of his jokes, O'Keeffe focuses on the appearance not just the taste.

Unfortunately, this means that the content sometimes lacks flavour. For our main course we are given a portion of feminism and a complimentary side of racial humour that can best be described as forced, predictable and mildly funny but is essentially just like a bowlful of leftovers: out of date and bland. In this moment, O Keeffe seems to adhere to some of the tasteless expectations he outlined at the beginning of the show.

Just when I was about to call for the cheque, I smelt it coming from afar. Dessert had finally arrived and it was well worth waiting for. The shows finale will have your bellies achingly full with laughter. O'Keeffe applies the finishing touches to his dish with a fabulously innovative 'cure' for fussy eating. I'm sure you want me to spill the beans and tell you what it is, but let's not be greedy now. I don't want to spoil your appetite. You simply have to go and try it for yourself. Despite being slightly undercooked in the middle, O'Keeffe's comedy show will leave you satisfied for the rest of the evening.


Freya Judd

at 10:06 on 14th Aug 2014



Rory O’Keefe is a likeable comedian – unlike many stand-up performers, he is self deprecating about his whiteness, his maleness, his middle-classness. Despite this, however, I fear that O’Keefe hasn’t yet quite found his voice in the comedy world.

The theme of the stand-up slightly filled me with trepidation: I’m a big foodie, and I find fussy eaters to be among the most annoying people on this earth. Regardless of my prejudices, O’Keefe did make the topic entertaining enough to fill nearly an hour. I found myself becoming genuinely interested in his eating habits (apparently separate foodstuffs can’t touch each other on the plate, whilst sauces on food are a no-no). Unfortunately, O’Keefe didn’t just limit himself to talking about his own experience with fussy eating. The pre-scripted material, including jokes about fussy-eaters through history, wasn’t nearly as funny as O’Keefe when he’s just being himself.

O’Keefe also made a slightly bizarre sideslip halfway through the performance into the world of gender politics. He proclaimed that he was a ‘white male feminist’. That’s good Rory, I admire you for that. The mistake he then made was to try and perform some feminist comedy: note, stating the obvious about the patriarchy, and then comparing it to racism, isn’t really funny. Successful jokes about feminism need to break new ground, not point out what everyone else has already noticed.

Having said this, the venue was impressively full (especially given the taciturn barman and the out-of-the-way location), and O’Keefe successfully managed to play the crowd, confidently interacting with audience members and brushing aside a small incident with a broken glass.

Rory O’Keefe is a funny man. He should continue on in his quest to become a professional stand-up. And, if you’re free and around The Southsider on Richmond Street, you should go and see this show. It’s around an hour of gently entertaining banter with a nice man, and it’s free. I hope that next year, O’Keefe returns to the Fringe having polished up his best jokes, and given some more serious thought to the content of his future show.


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