"Apollo-quality" **** - Three Weeks
"McDonnell is a cut above the rest" **** - Broadway Baby
"A forceful, leave-no-pauses onslaught" - Chortle
"Candid and insightful" - The Irish Post
Having spent a number of years silently mastering his craft in comedy clubs across the UK, Europe and beyond, Belfast-born, ginger Irishman Ryan McDonnell is an act on the rise.
Delivering an acerbic wit, with relentless warmth and charm, he has a knack for bombarding audiences with material that can often stray into dark, yet with a cheeky, roguish smile.
Ryan’s material ranges from real-life observation to social commentary and is inspired by the contemporary American brand of brutally honest comedy.
Despite hailing from Northern Ireland, McDonnell’s stand-up career began in London where he amassed a number of newcomer accolades, most notably seeing off thousands of entrants to come second in the Amused Moose Laugh Off final in 2009, hosted by Jack Whitehall. In doing so Ryan joined the ranks of a prestigious alumni of former winners and finalists that include, Sarah Millican, Jimmy Carr, Greg Davies, Romesh Ranganathan, Katherine Ryan, Rhod Gilbert and Rob Beckett.
The next year brought with it a complete sell-out at the Edinburgh Festival in 2010 as part of Bound And Gagged’s AAA show in the Pleasance Courtyard. 2013 saw his first full-length show, ‘Stupid Hair And Skinny Jeans’ which received warm, critical reviews and he is currently working on 2018’s Edinburgh return.
2017 was a busy year on the road for Ryan, you may have seen him support one of various household TV names from The Chase’s Paul Sinha, to Live At The Apollo star Geoff Norcott, or oddly, even Indian-American peace ambassador Prem Rawat. He will once again be the official tour support for Geoff Norcott during his nationwide tour of the brand new show, ‘Traditionalism’ this spring.