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Chris Kent: No stalling

By | Published on Wednesday 12 August 2015

Chris Kent

Last year Chris Kent entertained his audience with stories aplenty set in his hometown of Cork, in which various of his family members appeared. Perhaps looking for new characters with which to play, this year he got married, inspiring his new show ‘Stop Stalling’.
Though, he insists, he never actually intended to turn his wedding into new comedy material, but events unfolded that made it an inevitability. We caught up with Chris to find out more.

CC: So, let’s start with the new show, what topics and themes are you covering in ‘Stop Stalling’?
CK: Well I got married last year so a lot of the show revolves around that and our honeymoon. It was an eventful year and, as the honeymoon deteriorated, a selfish part of me was thinking this could be a good Edinburgh show.

CC: Your family featured very heavily in your show last year, how much comedic licence do you employ in the stories you tell?
CK: I try staying as close to the truth as possible. Most of the stories are already funny to me anyway. I do, of course, use some comedic licence to wrap up a story or make myself or others whittier, but often it isn’t needed too much. It’s just about articulating an already funny story and delivering it in a way that works as standup.

CC: Did your family mind being featured in your show that way?
CK: I never checked with them, but they did come to see that show and really liked it. My dad is delighted to feature in any of my standup, often claiming lines I wrote as his own.

CC: Given the premise, I assume your new wife features in this show? Did you prepare her for that eventuality pre-marriage?
CK: Yes, she does feature heavily, but I honestly never intended to write about her or my wedding, it just happened to be quite eventful and inspirational. She is pretty laid back anyway and was happy I had something to write about.

CC: Your home town featured a lot in your show last year too. Is that true of the new show? Is Cork simply comedy gold?
CK: Yeah, that was the first time I really talked about that and I was surprised how well it lent itself to comedy material. It doesn’t really feature at all in this show. It’s a pretty different show, but it will always feature in a way, because that’s where I grew up and developed my sense of humour.

CC: How does doing full hour shows at Edinburgh compare to performing on the comedy club circuit?
CK: It’s completely different but I enjoy both immensely. The circuit is obviously shorter spots but the crowd are normally warmed up for you. I do like getting an hour, but it’s all on you, there’s nothing to fall back on, which is great for progress I think.

CC: Your Edinburgh shows have some longer stories in them. Can those be transferred over to those shorter club routines, or are they just for full shows like this one?
CK: So far I’ve been able to transfer over to the clubs easily enough. I break up the longer stories with some short bits. I develop the stories in the clubs anyway, but I do feel I have a little more breathing space with the full hour show.

CC: Other than writing the new show, what else have you been up to between ‘Uncorked’ and ‘Stop Stalling’?
CK: Well, we have had a hectic year, what with the wedding and the honeymoon. We also moved to the UK, just outside London. I it’s been pretty non-stop, so I’m really happy to be just settled in Edinburgh for a while.

CC: When I saw your show last year it was being filmed for a documentary. What was that all about?
CK: That’s right, they followed me and a few other Irish comedians around for a couple of months to document the life of an up and coming stand-up. You literally just reminded me of it. It’s done and dusted but hasn’t aired yet, so I’ll keep you posted!

CC: And what’s your plans post-Fringe 2015?
CK: I am heading back to Ireland in September to do the Dublin Fringe, sharing the bill with another Irish comic Gearoid Farrelly. I’d like to get more established on the UK circuit and possibly get over to Oz for some of the festivals there. And I’ll hopefully be writing a new show for a Edinburgh next year too.

‘Chris Kent Stop Stalling’ was performed at Assembly George Square at Edinburgh Festival 2015.

LINKS: chriskentcomedy.com

Photo by Kat Gollock