‘Damo & Ivor: The Movie’: It’s a bad time to make dire jokes about working class wasters

Review: It’s a painful Irish ‘Prince and the Pauper’ with endless masturbation jokes

Damo and Ivor discover that a third brother, raised as a Traveller, lives somewhere beyond the Pale

Film Title: Damo & Ivor: The Movie

Director: Rob Burke, Ronan Burke

Starring: Andy Quirke, Ruth McCabe, Simon Delaney, Tina Kellegher, Enda Oates

Genre: Comedy

Running Time: 90 min

Thu, Mar 15, 2018, 10:00


It is unfortunate for Andy Quirke, prime perpetrator of this effluvial comedy, that it emerges in the wake of the justifiably celebrated Young Offenders. It’s a bad time to be making dire jokes at the expense of working-class wasters.

Then again, Damo & Ivor: The Movie is not significantly worse than Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie and, in 2013, that made more money than Microsoft. (Or something.) Maybe the world is crying out for another cinematic lobotomy.

Inspired by some TV series that I won’t pretend to have seen, Damo & Ivor: The Movie hangs around the relationship between Dublin twins – one posh, one working-class – who, following separation at birth, end up living with their colourful granny in the north side. Imagine The Prince and the Pauper with endless masturbation jokes and you’re halfway there.

The spinoff begins with the lads discovering that a third brother, raised as a Traveller, lives somewhere (literally and figuratively) beyond the Pale. They venture out in search of the missing sibling.

Damo & Ivor: The Movie trailer

This is enormously tricky territory. Quirke, who plays all three brothers, could argue that all classes get it in the neck. He might further point out that posh Ivor, rugby shirt permanently in collar-up mode, is depicted as a significantly bigger dope than the street-wise Damo.

The oddly dated quality of Ivor’s cultural references – Atkins Diet, anyone? – is probably an accident, but it deepens the fug of idiocy round the south-sider.

For all that, the depiction of John Joe, the lost Traveller, as a barely comprehensible brawler who shoves tampons up his nose after a tough fight is simply not funny enough to justify any free passes. No amount of punching up allows any subsequent punching down.

It would, however, be hard to argue that there is any great malice in Damo & Ivor. An impressive array of celebrities turns up at the close to confirm that the show has generated good feeling across the communities. There is also a sense that the creators understand the thinness of their creation. The film actually ends with one Quirke despairingly wondering: “When is this going to stop?”

We share your pain.