Carl Donnelly’s Nutter On The Bus is a gentler show, an intimate narrative-driven journey through Donnelly’s development in his outlook on life. Donnelly’s laid-back conversational style is gentle and unassuming, and the venue definitely helps build the feeling he seems to be aiming for. The small confines lend themselves to Donnelly’s moderate tones, drawing you into a show that is more about the internal world than the external.
For a show about hallucinogens and the mystical, Donnelly’s style is suitably dream-like and measured. You’re never quite sure if you should be expecting a punchline or tender moment. The show swings from emotional truths to the profane and scatological in a beat, keeping you a little off balance, despite Donnelly’s affability. His occasional musings on his mental state are endearing, and emotionally resonant. However, there are still echoes of his previous, man-down-the-pub style to him.
Donnelly’s brought his stand-up skills to bear on stories that have real heart to them. He deals with genuinely difficult topics with humour. He also avoids being flippant with these topics, which would be difficult task for anyone. Donnelly has definitely brought one of the more unassumingly powerful shows on the fringe this year.