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Immatürity for Charity, Tonight, 9.30pm, RTÉ 2

Christmas is often the time to indulge your inner child, so Immatürity for Charity seems perfectly suited for a post-holiday comedic treat. I had the pleasure of checking out a preview of it last week, and it is deliciously juvenile. It is, as the title suggests, a decidedly low-brow comedy sketch show, the kind of thing that could easily grate if it weren’t handled with the right amount of skill and enthusiasm. Luckily, writer (and star) Domhnall Glesson and director John Butler have done an outstanding job. Not all the sketches included are absolutely pitch-perfect, but the beauty of sketch comedy is that if you don’t like what you’re watching, well… another will be along shortly.

Domhnall Gleeson - IFC

Gleeson has assembled a talented Irish cast, packed with recognisable faces giving their time and talent for a worthy cause. Brendan Gleeson, Amy Huberman, David Wilmot, Hugh O’Conor and Robbie Sheehan are all along for the ride, but this is very much Gleeson’s show. The young actor (seen recently in films as diverse as Anna Karenina and Dredd) has some natural comedic chops, and throws himself well into the most ridiculous, absurd and occasionally downright stupid scenarios. Immatürity for Charity doesn’t always hit the mark, but Gleeson’s charisma (and the worthy cause) go a long way towards making even the occasional misfire strangely charming.

Still, when the sketch show works, it works remarkably well. The gags themselves are of varying length and quality, with some running for a matter of seconds, while others run longer. Highlights include the opening and closing sketches, a company meeting gone awry in Coke and a (mostly) silent comedy of errors in The Cat Burglars. There are a number of recurring gags as well, but this is open, broad and accessible comedy. It’s the perfect television viewing to help digest those leftover leftovers, rapid-fire comedy that doesn’t ask too much from the audience and moves at a brisk enough pace.

Brendan Gleeson - IFC

Immatürity for Charity is very juvenile, but that’s the charm. There are a lot of gags about private parts and bodily functions, and those of a particularly sensitive disposition (or with younger relatives still around) might find it all a bit much. Still, it’s good fun and all in aid of a good cause. If you are looking for something a bit light this evening, you could certainly do a lot worse.

Immatürity for Charity is raising funds for St. Francis Hospice in Raheny. It’s a very, very worthy cause, and the show even opens with a nice prologue from Gleeson asking for support. Even if the comedy isn’t quite to your tastes, it is still a cause that deserves attention and support. More details here.

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