The Cat’s got the cream
KILKENNY CAT LAUGHS Expanded from previous, more stand-up-focused iterations of its past, Kilkenny’s Cat Laugh’s festival is now a many headed beast, encompassing everything from stand-up and improv, to theatre, music, books and cabaret. With hundreds of things to catch over the weekend, here’s but a few morsels to get you started.
This year’s bulging bag of belly laughs is stuffed with Irish stand-up talent, with recurring appearances from traditional titans of Irish comedy such as Tommy Tiernan, Dara O Briain and Jason Byrne. There they’ll be joined by Colm O’Regan, Aisling Bea, Jarlath Regan all of whom are leading the line to become fellow fixtures within the nation’s comedy firmament. These local heroes will, of course, be ably supplemented by international standards such as Phill Jupitus, Rich Hall, Adam Hills and Kevin Bridges.
A festival debut comes for hirsute’n’haughty TJ Miller, an actor and comedian best known for his work on HBO’s Silicon Valley. One of the most reliably funny comedies on TV, Silicon Valley is certainly the funniest of all the ones in which attractive and charismatic actors affect the traits of awkward IT dorks in what is, effectively, blackface for nerds.
It’s just been announced he is stepping away from the show as Eric Bachmann, the obnoxious character he’s played for the past four years, so those smarting from the news will be delighted to find that his on-stage persona blends most of that character’s charm with a decidedly less smarmy edge.
Meanwhile, Saturday sees Glaswegian gasman Limmy meet the Kilkenny crowd for the first time. Consistently among the funniest human beings on the planet, the actor, writer and director behind Limmy’s Show Daft Wee Stories, and a Twitter account that singlehandedly justifies social media as an artform, is touring That’s Your Lot, his second book of short stories. Expect discussions, a Q&A, and dramatic, fully characterised live readings from the book itself, at the Watergate theatre from 8pm.
Fans of mixing music and comedy are also in for a treat as, hot from touring stadia with Ed Sheeran, and belting out tunes to 15,000 salty wastrels in Trafalgar Square this St Paddy’s Day, Abandoman will be bringing their superlatively popular music-comedy-improv brilliance to several gigs across the weekend. Fans may also want to save a spot in the diary for The Rubberbandits, who have a late show on Friday June 2nd. When they first burst onto the scene, few could have imagined these shirtless, bag-headed troubadours with a penchant for rapping about pills and Willie O’Dea would also have a double life speaking truth to Tubridy, and pursuing their rightful role as the beating moral heart of modern Ireland, but so has it come to pass.
While the flabby tedium of the nation’s media landscape gives such a claim the nagging scent of faint praise, the truth is any country would delight in satirists as raucously satisfying, and genuinely hilarious, as the unmissable Blindboy Boatclub and Mr Chrome. Not for nothing, their gig in Ormonde Hotel from 11pm will be standing – and leaping – only.
Kilkenny Cat Laughs, June 1st - 5th 2017. For more, see thecatlaughs.com
Runnerbandits, Aisling Bea, Dara O Briain and TJ Miller