First experience of Newry for Pat Shortt
Tuesday, 11 February 2014
IRISH comedian, Pat Shortt is getting geared up to bring his 'I am the Band' tour to the Canal Court next month and can't wait to experience Newry's "mad vibe".
Fictional character Dixie Walsh, played by Pat, will take centre stage in the show as he reveals the hilarious ins and outs of life as a local musician.
At the beginning of his career Pat started out as a musician, before turning to comedy and from those experiences of meeting local performers, Pat created Dixie Walsh.
“All of these characters are so passionate about music but it's all about the local scene for them," explained Pat. "I suppose I see the humour in that and how big the local music scene is in these guys lives.
“There is an innocence to these characters and a hilarity about how passionate they are of such a small little world, that's what I play on. When I say local, all the characters are based in small villages and I find a lot of humour in that.
“The event on the night is to celebrate the characters life in music, basically it's an evening with Dixie Walsh. He comes out on stage and he's very excited to see everyone there and of course, he knows everyone in the audience.
“The audience becomes the musicians and the special guests at his big event. He gets down into the audience and his mother comes on stage and talks about him, another character which is played by myself. There's also his old teacher that talks to the whole room as if it was a classroom.
“The hall becomes the event and the audience becomes part of the event. Walls are broken down because I get into the audience and pretend I've known them all my life. There's a lot of audience interaction and I suppose they become the world as soon as they come into the room."
The Thurles actor started out as one half of D'Unbelievables, alongside Jon Kenny, before appearing as crazy man Tom in Father Ted and as Josie in the 2007 film 'Garage'. Pat went on to win the Best Actor award at the 2008 Irish Film and Television awards for his portrayal as Josie.
More recently, Pat has appeared on the West End and Broadway alongside Daniel Radcliffe, in the dark comedy The Cripple Of Inishmaan.
I Am The Band has been going on for the last two years inbetween Pat's hectic schedule and has even taken the comedy to London and New York.
“We've been touring all over and there's been a great reaction to it so I've enjoyed it," he said. "I've been touring for years. Way back when I started out as a double act in the D'Unbelievables we toured all over the world.
“We separated in 2000 and I've been touring solo since then. Stage work is what I love doing because it is immediate with the audience.
“The Cripple Of Inishmaan was my first experience of the West End. It was tough, I tell ya! We would have done eight shows a week, including two on a Wednesday and two on a Saturday.
“It was amazing because of having Daniel Radcliffe. After every show there were a couple of hundred fans at the backstage door. It was phenomenal, he is an incredible draw and a lovely guy. It was interesting to see that.
“It was gruelling because last summer was one of the hottest in a long time and when you're stuck in a dressing room and looking out into an alleyway in central London with the heat coming off the roads, it was absolutely roasting and then you get a text from home saying we're all away down to the river for a swim, that made it even tougher!
“I would have travelled on the central line in London which was the hottest of the lot because it just went right down under the ground and Jaysus, with me being a stupid paddy I would wear a jacket everywhere!
“You get used to lifting a jacket because of the nerves you get when you don't leave the house with a jacket in the morning," joked Pat.
I Am The Band is touring all over Ireland and will stop in the INF Hall, Newry, on Friday, March 14, Silverbridge GAA Club, on Saturday, March 15, and The Canal Court on Sunday, March 16, with all shows beginning at 8pm.
This will be the first time Pat has performed in Newry and is looking forward to experiencing what the city has to offer.
“The show has got great feedback from the Irish papers and there were packed houses everywhere. People know when they go to my shows there is a certain amount of madness. It's not like stand up, it's more like theatrical comedy and we create a whole vibe when people come through the door," he said.
“I'm looking forward to getting into the good mad vibe up here and I can't wait to tap into that."
Tickets for the I Am The Band tour cost £22.50 and are available from the Canal Court Hotel, the INF Hall, Silverbridge GAA Club, the Carrickdale Hotel and ticketmaster.ie
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