Interview: Christmas Time with Bernard O’Shea

Posted November 28, 2012 in Comedy

Bernard O’Shea has become somewhat of a lovable regular on RTÉ’s Republic of Telly but this Laois fella’s first love was stand up. He received a rave review from The Scotsman for his 2008 Edinburgh Fringe debut ‘Do Not Adjust Your Mind, Reality Is At Fault’ and this December he’s returning to the stage for the first time in years at Vicar Street. O’Shea has a signature brand of off the wall comedy – his last Fringe show saw him arrive wearing both a rucksack and multiple layers only to finish his show half-naked wearing a balaclava. In the run up to this new show he’s released several teaser songs on his Soundcloud including ‘Christmas Time’ and ‘Why have all the girls I liked listened to shit music?’ to give you a taster of what to expect.

So you haven’t really done anything big by yourself since your 2008 show, what prompted you to get back into solo stand-up shows and what is the premise for December’s gig?

In 2008 I took a breakfast radio gig (Breakfast with Bernard and Keith on 105-107FM), which finished up in 2011. By the time I left that I was already doing Republic of Telly so I just didn’t have the time to gig. It wasn’t until I got back into doing a few gigs that I really started to enjoy it again. The premise of the Vicar Street gig is being in the middle of everything in terms of life, class and actually living in the midlands.

What is the make up of the show in terms of style, I know you mix your anecdotal and observational stuff with song but have you put more of an emphasis on any one aspect of the show this time around or is it still a balance?

There is definitely going to be more stand-up along with the songs. I would say in terms of subject matter there is a strong emphasis on my parents and obviously the emphasis is always on the punchlines, because they make the show.

What’s been the best part of working on Republic of Telly and has it changed your outlook on what you want to do next?

The best part has definitely been working with the teams, cast and production. Being a standup tends to be a very solitary thing so meeting up with other people and having a laugh is great. At the moment I actually have a few projects in mind including a neverending film script which is in development. One of the more bizarre ideas I have in the works is creating a pilot of a studio based show set in the 70’s.

What is your own take on the Dublin comedy scene, who do you like to go see, which comedians do you admire and what would you like to see more of?

I used to be able to hang out a lot and see loads of new comics but in the last few years my busy schedule has unfortunately stunted that. One new comedian who I really like is Mark Doheny, he’s very good and I’ll always try and get out to see Dermot McMurrow when’s he’s on.

What’s the plan for this show, where do you plan to tour it and what comes next after Vicar Street?

There are few gigs planned for March and April but effectively this show will end up being the show I take to Edinburgh next year.

I’ve just recently listened to your song ‘Christmas Time’, is there going to be much Christmassy stuff in the show or is that it?

Ah yeah there will be a few Christmassy bits I love all that stuff. You know getting the dog drunk, eating a tin of USA biscuits and watching the family fights…ahhhh Christmas.

Bernard O’Shea will play Vicar Street on 7th December, tickets are €23. Listen to Christmas Time to get you in the mood:

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