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Interview with Lords of Strut

Words by Sorcha Tyndall

Interview with Lords of Strut Date: September 19, 2014

Lords of Strut is the brainchild of Cian Kinsella and Cormac Mohally. An amalgamation of acrobatics, dance, and comedy, the double act’s newest show ‘Chaos’ is all kinds of outrageous. It follows two brothers with delusions of grandeur into scenarios that are equally hilarious and shocking. Having spent the past month delighting audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, they are returning home to take to the Peacock Stage in The Abbey stage for the Tiger Dublin Fringe. We spoke to Cian about the new show and what it’s like to be coming home.

For those that aren’t familiar with the new show ‘Chaos’ can you tell us a little bit about it?

People who know ‘Lords of Strut’ know the characters. It’s the same two delusional idiots who think that everything they do is amazing but nothing really works out. It always ends in disaster, so what people are really watching is them trying to deal with their constant failure.

Is it very different from your original show?

Yeah it’s totally different. It’s the same characters, but it’s all new material and new routines. We were over in Edinburgh at the Fringe Festival and doing it everyday, so it’s really developing all the time. The show stays the same, but there are nuances developing. We opened in Edinburgh a few weeks ago and did about 30 shows. Not only that, but we were doing spots in other comedy shows and galas which is fun. We’ll be in a lineup with an amazing comedian and meeting incredible people.

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How did you guys meet?

We met doing an acrobatics workshop. We were both on the circus scene in Cork and we were paired off with other people, but when the two of us would try moves together we would end up making people laugh. We just thought we were on to something there and it went from there. We d bounce off each other very well on stage. It’s very hard to find the right double act partner but when you do, it’s worth developing.

There are hints in the show of classic comedy duos such as Laurel and Hardy. Do you draw inspiration from them?

Absolutely, because they are a classic double act in that there’s a high status and a low status, and though they are both stupid, the latter is worse. I always go and watch double acts. The old school ones do inspire you, but there are some great new ones like Flight of the Conchords too.

Would you have a favourite comedy act?

At the moment, I really like David O’Doherty and the Rubberbandits - great Irish comedians working at the moment. But I love Sacha Baron Cohen, ‘Little Britain’ and Alan Partridge too for the character based comedy.

You guys got started as street performers right?

We did! The first show the Lords of Strut ever did was on a street in Cork in 2008. We mostly did street stuff for a long time, so we had hardened up from that. Everything that could possibly go wrong, did go wrong, but we actually ended up writing a lot of that stuff into the show because there’s a lot of comedy in that. The show we did was really successful - we took it to Australia and Canada, and thats what prompted us to try it indoors eventually. It’s a little slower in that environment, whereas outside it’s all hype so you don’t lose your audience. It’s a shift for us to try and move onto the stage and not go too big, so the new show is an adjustment but we’re settling into it nicely.

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I saw that you won the World Street Performers Championships last year, did that affect the show at all?

I don’t know, it probably has. People don’t care too much about that when you’re doing indoor comedy, but if we’d stayed on the street it would have. I’d say in Ireland it’s helped us gain recognition just by the sheer volume of people that go to the event. It’s a great platform for street performance because it helps the recognition of it as a valued form of entertainment.

One of the quotes on your website says ‘If you’re not willing to look stupid, nothing great will ever happen.’ Is that the philosophy behind the act?

It can be really hard to put yourself out there as someone who is the stupidest person in the room. It makes everyone else feel smarter than you and that isn’t always an easy thing to do. But if everyone sees that we’re willing to do that it puts people at ease. We’re really engaged with our audience, we’re out there amongst them. They can really change the show each night. When there are lots of laughs, it just builds and builds, but if it’s a quiet night, we reign it in a little bit.

Are you excited about coming to the Tiger Dublin Fringe?

We’re really excited! We’re going to be at the Abbey which is amazing. We were there a couple of years with our first ever indoor show and looking back at it now, it was really underdeveloped. Now we’re going back with a show that we feel is much more developed and funny. And because we’re outside the country touring so much, there isn’t that much of an opportunity for people to get to know us in Ireland, so it’s good to go back and let people see it.

So what’s next for Lords of Strut?

In October we’re a bit all over the place - London and Cork. We’ll be touring this show for a while - we’ll be back to Australia in the new year, and in the Spring we’re hoping to look at doing an Irish tour because we’ve never actually done that! That would be really fun.

Check out Lords of Strut at the Tiger Dublin Fringe from the 9th - 13th September on The Peacock Stage at The Abbey Theatre.


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