Mario-RosenstockMario Rosenstock’s ‘homecoming’ Gift Grub gig in Waterford city last Friday was an unmitigated triumph, leaving the crowd doing a ‘stand-up’ routine at the end. Gilbert O’Sullivan he aint.

The ex-Glenroe actor (in which he played the alcoholic Dr David Hanlon, not unlike Gilbert, “a bit of a drip”) comes from Déise/Deutschland stock, and with plenty of colloquialisms included he had the audience in The Forum eating out of his hand; when they weren’t cowering behind their fingers in fear of being picked upon.

Once a wannabe tennis player, whose teenage dreams of being the next Bjorn Borg were shattered when beaten by a younger English girl, sport is a big theme in Rosenstock’s repertoire. “There’s a wonderful purity there that you don’t get in any other part of life,” he submits.

So, from his Keano staple to Pádraig Harrington to any number of bossmen, they all get a good seeing to, as do Ireland’s equally risible selection of politicians and z-list celebs. (His Bertie Ahern, Glenda Gilson and Keith Duffy impersonations are hilarious.) So many sacred cows to milk, so little stagetime.

Born in London but raised in Waterford, he started off doing impressions of his parents (Irish actress Patricia and English teacher Paschal) just to get attention. It’s since become an all-consuming and let’s face it curious career choice for a middle-to-upperclass fella who went to Cork’s exclusive private Rochelle House boarding school and then studied economics and politics at Trinity.

See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.