THE Rubberbandits return home this weekend with Continental Fistfight, a “musical about Limerick that we have taken all over the UK”, they explain.
The plastic bag wearing comedians - fresh from wowing Venice with their ‘performance art’ show at the Biennale - will make their debut at the Lime Tree Theatre with the show, which has sold out on the Peacock Stage at the Abbey Theatre and been performed at Shakespeare’s Globe, London’s West End and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
The highly successful stage show in fact sold out some 60 nights in London last year, winning rave reviews from hard to impress UK critics for the Bandits, who have worked hard to move away from the Horse Outside hysteria that blew up in 2010, preferring to focus on darker songs such as the quite unsettling, blackly comic songs Fellas and Dad’s Best Friend.
In a revealing interview with the Limerick Leader, Blind Boy Boat Club spoke about the difference in doing the show in a theatre - as opposed to Dolan’s, where they have performed annually in recent years - and returning home to Limerick.
“Doing the show in a theatre is a different experience to a gig,” he says. “With a theatre show you can give the audience 100 percent without any distractions. Dolan’s is craic, and it’s loud and late night with pints flying around the gaff. That’s what it is. But a theatre show is a bit like going to the cinema. You can relax and take it all in. It’s theatre shows that we’ve been doing in the UK and in Edinburgh. We’ve won awards for our theatre shows, we can’t say the same for our gigs. There’s a reason for that,” he said.
“Of course it is different performing here than in the UK - this is a musical about Limerick that we’ve taken all over the UK. We f*cking did it in Shakespeare’s Globe for f*ck sake. The Brits lapped it up. We can’t wait to show it to the city where it all comes from,” he adds.
After Venice - “unreal craic, washing my hands in gorgeous canals and the rats are as friendly as pigeons” - the Bandits have been focussing on the gradual move toward being considered “artists”.
“Horse Outside was a reflection of where our heads were at five years ago and the new stuff is where our heads are at now,” he says. “We’re 15 years at this. We’ve been working as Gas C*ntists since we were children in school together.
“Throughout that we’ve done prank calls, film, music, puppetry, theatre and performance art, we’ve always been changing and moving, we never stop at one thing,” he adds.