Skip to content


Neil Dougan - Rough Rared
Published on Saturday, 20 August 2011

3 stars

Just the Tonic at The Store (formerly GRV) (venue website)
4-15, 17-23, 25-28 Aug, 5:20pm-6:20pm
Reviewed by Alice de Cent

 Recommended for age 14+ only.

Rough Rared comes from a Belfast expression meaning “brought up in an ungentle, although not uncaring fashion”. Neil Dougan’s show of the same name deals with the differences between his own upbringing, and the way he is raising his children.

Full of personal anecdotes from his childhood and his more recent experiences as a parent, the show is particularly enjoyable to anyone who shares a certain fondness for the way things used to be. With an avuncular style, and a readiness to poke fun at himself, Dougan was also quick to endear himself to the younger members of the audience.

There isn’t a wealth of originality to be found here – the jokes about Facebook and not being able to hit children anymore are perhaps a tad predictable, and Dougan doesn’t cover much new ground in either his personal anecdotes or his musings on society.

But Dougan comes into his own when interacting with the audience, quickly putting everyone at their ease and involving them in his tales throughout the set. With a relaxed, conversational style he creates a chatty and enjoyable atmosphere, getting on friendly terms right from the off. 

The material is a little dated but Dougan is likeable and easy to watch. This is a traditional and perhaps unchallenging set, but presented in a down-to-earth and agreeable style which is certain to charm many.

<< Shakespeare's Monkeys   Nobody's Home: A Modern O... >>