Glasgow International Comedy Festival is just around the corner. Outside of the Fringe, it’s the most concentrated dose of comedy we get in Scotland and we can’t wait. In preparation, The Wee Review’s very own comedy talent, Joe Gardner, spoke to Patrick Monahan, a familiar Fringe face, as he gets ready to bring his show The Disco Years back to Scotland…
Patrick, thank you for talking to The Wee Review. Are you looking forward to coming back to Glasgow to perform?
I love it! I always look forward to it. It’s one of the highlights of my year, that and the Edinburgh Fringe. When you’re doing either one you don’t talk about the other, it’s like you’re having an affair! What’s good about Glasgow compared to Edinburgh is that there are so many shows [at the Edinburgh Fringe] – you can see a dog juggling if you want – but in Glasgow it’s just pure stand-up.
What do you make of Scottish audiences?
Again, I love it! When you come to Scotland, compared to the West End, everyone comes out. On my tour, I’m heading to places like Elgin, it’s great fun. In my show, there is no fourth wall, so when I’m telling stories about my life, people often tell me similar stories that have happened to them. It’s great.
So, what is The Disco Years about? What will you be talking about on this tour?
I was born in the late 70s in Iran. My mum is Iranian and my dad is Irish. So it’s based on things to do with that, like travelling and migration, which are quite topical. I’ve got two passports – one Iranian and one Irish one. I use my Irish passport for travelling but it says I was born in Iran. I was coming back from doing gigs in Turkey during the migration crisis and the whole world was just chaotic at the time; so I put all that in my show.
Some readers may have seen you on Let’s Dance for Sport Relief back in 2012 where we got a chance to see your dance moves, what is your favourite disco years track to dance to?
There’s so many! There’s classics from Kool and the Gang and the Bee Gees and then there’s tracks like Rapper’s Delight. There’s also Chic. Even though disco might sound really old-fashioned, it’s really in just now.
Can audiences expect any dancing if they have tickets to the show?
Oh yeah! That is one of the big selling points. The first half of the show is me talking about disco dancing and the health benefits so audiences can go away having learned stuff and slightly slimmer.
I’ve read a lot about your hugs Patrick, so what makes them so special?
Well, not only do I hold the record for the longest hug, but I think if you’re naturally good at something you’ll improve on it. I’m naturally just a huggy person; when I first meet people I would just hug them; I would never shake hands.
Finally, as the most recent winner of the Class Clowns competition at the Edinburgh Fringe, a competition with which you mentored the contestants on back in 2014, what advice would you give to other budding comedians?
The main thing when you’re starting out is to just keep writing. The best advice I was given was write, write, write and then edit, edit, edit, edit. Finding your own voice and what you think is funny is really important too because then the audience will enjoy it more.