Edinburgh Fringe Diaries | Aug 6th

We put out a call asking for Irish comedians performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to share their experiences with us day by day. We got a big response. Here are how some of our comedians (they’re ours now) are getting on with their previews and first shows.

Heber Hanly

Heber Hanley and Stephen Colfer
Heber Hanly and his co-star Stephen Colfer enjoy some stretches in Kilkenny

Heber Hanly is a member of Dreamgun. Dreamgun were at the Fringe last year with Chaos Theory and this year they’re bringing their sci-fi comedy Mimes In Time to The Underbelly from 4th-28th Aug. Here’s what it’s about:

In the future, mimes are no longer physical theatre practitioners and have become the sole operators of the world’s time machines. Two brave mimes, who don’t really like each other, will travel  everywhere and everywhen in a desperate attempt to find meaning in an infinite existence.

But it’s also mostly jokes about time travel.

Here’s Heber’s first diary entry from Aug 1st:

A bicycle accident, flooded rehearsal space, disappearing accommodation, getting locked in a bathroom and we haven’t even had our first show. We’ve spent the last week rehearsing in Kilkenny in preparation for our two preview shows (in the lovely Cleeres Theatre) as part of the Alternative Kilkenny Arts Festival. Once the second show is done we’ve got 45 minutes to dash to the last chopper out of Kilkenny followed by a brief period of packing and convalescence before our 6:00 am flight. Of course this is all followed by a four week run in Edinburgh. It’s funny to think only a few weeks ago I was sitting on my couch contemplating existence and in a few days I’ll be on stage playing a character contemplating existence. Plays are fun.

Get you tickets for the Edinburgh run of Mimes In Time here or catch it at the Tiger Dublin Fringe in September here

Anthony Riordain

Here’s Anthony Riordain in his own words:

I’m a Cork based stand-up comedian. Performing since 2013, I gig around Ireland all year. Particularly in Cork, Kerry, Galway & Dublin. “Riordan is your classic depressed stand-up comic who appears like they wish they were somewhere else” – Fresh Air Radio. As seen on Republic of Telly.

And here’s how he’s getting on:

Day one down. It’s 8am on Friday 5th August and my my head is fucking pounding. My throat is killing me and my feet ache. Welcome to the Fringe. Myself and two other comics(Cornelius Patrick O’ Sullivan & Roger O’ Sullivan) are doing a show called “The Irish Alternative” at the monkey cellar every day at 1:15pm. We arrived a few hours before that yesterday. We flyered for an hour and set up at the venue. 1:13pm on my phone. Nobody here. Bad idea to try and do a show on the first day, nobody does that, why would we think we could? 1:14pm and the door opens, a mild mannered Indian woman walks in. We have one person. Should we go ahead with it? Can we go ahead with it? Fuck it, this would be a great story for a podcast some day, the time we performed to one woman on our first day at the Edinburgh Free Fringe. Nah, we can’t do that to the poor woman, it’s cruel to make her sit through one hour of comedy with no other audience members. I’ll tell her it’s off. Stupid fucking Fringe. It’s just a waste of money, I took out a credit union loan for this? 1:15pm, I’m walking over to our “audience” to tell her the show is cancelled and I hear the door open behind me. Four people walk in, then two more. At first I think they’re lost but then i recognise them as the guys we were chatting to whilst flyering. They’re doing a show this evening, are flyering all day and figured they’d take a break to catch our show. We have seven. It’s on! 1:16pm, I walk up to the mic, slow intake of breath, set up, breathe, punchline, breathe, laugh. God, I fucking love the fringe!

Alan Flanagan

Here’s how Alan Flanagan’s getting on so far:

This year I’m bringing two shows to Edinburgh, for reasons I can’t even begin to remember but have me wanting to smash my laptop into pieces as I try to design two sets of flyers.
The first is ‘Everyone’s Dead!’, telling the story of two friends who record a podcast about film, TV, theatre and that time everyone in the world died. They’ve survived the apocalypse and they only have each other for company, so they figure the best legacy they can life is a witty podcast interspersed with details of ‘Speckles’, the disease that killed everyone else. It’s a bit of an insane mix of Buckfast-fuelled apocalypse, sketch show madness and occasional pathos, but myself and co-star Zara Symes are trying our best to not to get too drunk or too maudlin about the whole thing.
The second piece, ‘Dupont & Davenport’, is a bit of a darker affair. The tag line is “Boy Meets Boy. Boy Meets End.” so it’s all about grief and love and bicycles and me sitting on stage drinking a couple of beers (not even joking, seemed like a relaxing thing to do!).
I thought balancing comedy and drama in the Fringe would be tricky, but actually it’s been great — they’re just two sides of the same coin. ‘Everyone’s Dead!’ has moments of real seriousness, while ‘Dupont’ only survives by keeping the horror of grief as light as possible.
Our prep has been a bit crazy. As hinted at above, with the Fringe you do everything yourself — sort out accommodation, travel, design flyers, write press releases, rehearsal space, venue, coordinating with everyone else in your venue… the list goes on. But that’s what makes it fun. Going to Edinburgh once a year reminds me that there is no such thing as being “in control” of life, and the best moments in life are usually fuelled by a time you cried in a bathroom out of stress twelve hours before.
Here’s hoping it goes well!
”Dupont & Davenport’ – PBH Free Fringe, Bourbon Bar (Stage 2), Venue 333, Aug 6th-8th, 7.15pm
‘Everyone’s Dead!’ – PBH Free Fringe, Bourbon Bar (Stage 2), Venue 333, Aug 9th-12th, 7.15pm

Cornelius O’Sullivan

And finally for today, here’s Cornelius O’Sullivan. He’s sharing a gig with Anthony Riordain from earlier. Will they still be friends this time next month? Stay tuned. Here’s how he’s getting on.

As a married man with a six month pregnant wife, going away to the fringe for two and a half weeks to display my comedic wares is, to most “normal people” insane. Then again in my opinion it’s the “normal” folk who are the crazy ones.

My show, The Irish Alternative made its illustrious debut yesterday to a packed out crowd of seven. Located at fringe venue 293 known locally as The Cellar Monkey. Anthony Riordan, Roger O Sullivan and myself, Cornelius O’ Sullivan…. Hardly household names even in our own homes.

Still with hope in our hearts we flyered with gusto along the Royal mile all three of us for an hour or so prior to inaugural show. And by the time we were ready to blow away the masses with our carefully crafted comedy sets seven lonely souls were sat in our dungeon like venue.

Yet we were thrilled.
That’s comedy for yeah. Thousands of euro spend on accommodation, flights, flyers and posters not to mention the emotional turmoil of fleeing my beautiful third trimester wife to make seven strangers who I most certainly will never lay eyes upon again….. Laugh.

I fucking loved it.

That’s it for today. Check back over the month to see more updates from the lads above as well as Alison Spittle, Davey Reilly, Hugh Cooney, and Roger O’Sullivan. Maybe there’ll be others? Who knows?

Main image via Laura Suarez