Saturday, May 31, 2008

Part of the Cat Crew

Being a Kilkenny man it was only fitting that I take my own recommendation and volunteer for this year's Cat Laughs Festival in Kilkenny.

If you happen to be around Kilkenny this weekend, keep an eye out for the volunteers in their fetching blue t-shirts - they'll be more than happy to help if they can. Headed up by wonderwoman herself Trish Duffe, there's friendly people at every venue.

I have to admit it's the first time I've been in Kilkenny for the Festival for a few years and the place looks great. The buzz and atmosphere in the town is one of enthusiasm, humour and people who - pardon the pun - are out to have a laugh. The massive queue for yesterday's train is a testament to the draw of the Festival.

I'm full of admiration for anyone who can get up in front of an audience armed only with a sharp wit, keen observation and enough charisma and courage to keep an audience laughing along. And last night they certainly did that.

I have the great pleasure of working in the Rivercourt Hotel, where last night we had on the bill:

  • CompĆ©re, host and extremely funny man Ian Coppinger from Dublin

  • The outrageously camp, leather kilt wearing hilarious Craig Hill from Glasgow

  • Geeky just-out-of-high-school and first time to Ireland Josh Thomas from Australia

  • and the ever likable, most popular and tear inducing comedian Neil Delamere
It's funny (not ha ha) but I was incredibly shy last night. Granted I was busy with the volunteering (yes I was!) but I found it difficult to go and say hello to some of them, to ask for a photo or to be so bold as to bother them for an interview. I can only imagine how difficult getting up there must be, the mental preparation, the stress and the come down.

I've spotted Ed Byrne, Kevin Gildea, Matt Kirshen and Andy Parsons all out and about. Tonight I get to work with (ahem) Des Bishop, John Lynn, Maeve Higgins and one of my personal favourites Tommy Tiernan. I'm going to keep an eye out for PJ Gallagher too.

I cannot wait.


  1. That really sounds like a great weekend. Have fun.

  2. Reginald D Hunter and Rich Hall are the ones I'd HAVE to go to.
    Was watching some ancient Tommy Tiernan stuff recently, lord he used to be very good.

    I'm aiming to try out some standup myself next year... originally set up a blog to try and think of ideas.

  3. Hey Darragh, maybe see you there. I'm at Tommy Tiernan tomorrow night; can't wait as I've never seen him live.

  4. we used to pretend to volunteer when i lived there - i.e. insist that "John" had sent us out to get some chairs/napkins/a pen (whatever we had to hand, basically) so that we could just wander on in to gigs.

    it was before they had fetching t-shirts.

  5. @grannymar - it really was fun. More to follow.

    @b - Both were great. Rich Hall is a genius - Tommy Tiernan was great also.

    Definitely go for the stand-up. Give it a go!

    @brightspark - didn't get to see you but saw Tommy twice - how was he for you?

    @mj - something I said? :/

    @rosie - ya cheeky pup. Oh it's all about the t-shirts and ID now, I tell ya...

    You ever get caught at it?