A Friendly Chat with Conor O’Toole

Conor O’Toole has travelled the world and covered the great topics of philosophy, from typography to death. His latest show delves into the world of newspaper production, likely touching on typography and death once again. It runs from September 9th to 24th at 7pm as part of the Dublin Fringe. Go here for tickets and more information.

Hello Conor!

Hello Conor!

What’s the longest you’ve ever been on a bus?

I took a twelve hour bus journey from New Orleans to San Antonio last year, it was much colder than I expected. I befriended a PR lady from Kenya who was over trying to get a jump on the next big fashion trends. We had good craic making fun of how unspicy american food was. It was 4am. You kinda had to be there to understand why it was fun.

Your Dublin Fringe show this year is called Deadline! What can people expect?

The Fringe have got me to make a daily newspaper for them, which it turns out is a lot more work than I thought! So I’m putting together a show so I can get some ‘staff members’ to come to my ‘office’ and help me get it together. I’ve managed to pass it off as ‘immersive theatre’.

The show revolves around the world of print media. Do you have a background in this dying industry?

Yeah! In college I wrote for a paper. The first thing I wrote was an obituary for an old tree that got cut down. After that any time the editor of the paper wanted to write a ‘dumb’ article, he’d sign it off with my name. I was like the opposite of a ghost writer. I wouldn’t like to be a ghost writer. I’d prefer to be a poltergeist writer. Just someone who takes finished books and adds typos.

You wrote and illustrated your own Mr Men/Little Miss book featuring a character with a non-binary gender. What’s the most effort you ever put into a single bit?

For a bit about lighthouses a few years ago I built an instrument called a ‘spring on a stick’. It involved some light carpentry.

How many times in a row have you gone around a roundabout?

Who told you to ask me about that? Was it Lorraine? Ok, ok, yes. Fine. My dirty secret. It’s a hundred times. Honestly, by the end of it, the roundabout seems straight and all the other roads bendy.

Do you have a favourite or least favourite bus stop in Dublin?

There’s one right outside my house. Sometimes I just go out and stand at it for a bloody laugh. No intention of getting on a bus! Just like feeling like I’m part of a gang.

You run the Firehouse Film Contest every month in A4 Sounds with Conor Barry and Simon Mulholland. What was the genesis of that?

We thought it’d be cool to have a place for people to make short films for that wasn’t full of boring film school nerds. We screen everything we get but it’s got a pretty heavy comedy bias. Thank god. I know that it’s sad when bad things happen, I don’t need to see any more films about it.

Have you worked out yet that I wrote these questions on my commute to work?

Ah! The bus stops, the roundabouts, yes, that all makes sense now. I’m looking forward to the question about lifts. Got a fucking lot to say about lifts if someone would just give me a chance!

Have you any other projects coming up?

I’ve got the plans for a miniature golf course that I’ve been planning for a few years now. Might be time to break ground on that soon. If anyone knows of a Chelsea Garden Show but for crazy golf please get in touch, I really think I could be a contender.

You cycle a lot. Do you think you could defeat fellow comedian David O’Doherty in an entirely bicycle-based decathlon?

Depended what the events were. Puncture repair? Me. Bicycle toss? David. Bicycle kick? David. Who can carry their bike up the most stairs? Me, assuming David is injured from kicking the bicycle in the previous event. Bicycle dance? Definately me. Cycling? I dunno about that one. Who can get their hand in and out of a spinning wheel without getting hit by the spokes the most? Me. Bike polo? Depends on whose got the best team, I guess. Bottom bracket replacement? Dunno how Dave is at it but I did it once and it was the greatest physical achievement of my life. Wheelies? I can’t do ’em but I know a lot of teenagers and I’m not too proud to learn from them. Is that ten? Decatholon is ten right?

Marry, fuck, kill: knitting, crochet, cross-stitch

I’d fuck crochet, just because it’s the only one with a hook instead of a needle.

Main image via Dublin Fringe