A Handstand with Neil Delamere as comic returns to the UCH

Comedian returns to Limerick this Saturday with his new stand-up show - Peter Corbett asks the questions

A Handstand with Neil Delamere as comic returns to the UCH

Neil Delamere brings Handstand to the UCH this January 21

Your last show got great reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe. What can we expect to be different in Handstand?

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! The shows tend to follow a certain pattern. I’ll mess about with the crowd for a bit, then it’s straight into the stuff that’s been happening in the last year, both internationally and to me on a personal level. This year I found myself three feet from a massive alligator as part of a charity stun, exposed to a serious communicable disease and shouted at in a petrol station. All these incidents will feature. Donald Trump might also be mentioned.

How does your style go down at shows abroad?

I think it’s always good to travel and do different festivals around to world precisely so you don’t get too comfortable in front of your own. I find there are differences even in the stuff people North of the border get, compared to punters in the Republic so you always have to be mindful of the people at the shows. Forcing yourself to adapt to new audiences can only be good for you. It also makes you more appreciative when you do come home. There isn’t even a millisecond of a delay when you’re bouncing off the crowd at home because you know that any reference you can think of they’ll get because you’re cut from the same cloth.

What has been your favorite non-Irish gig so far? What made it so special?

I did a gig in an underground club in Helsinki that was run by this famous Finnish comic. It was a joy from start to finish. Colin Murphy and I were on and had such a good time that we went back to Finland to do festivals based almost entirely on that experience. He uncovered a man in the audience who had brought his teenage son to Sweden so he could lose his virginity somewhere prostitution was legal. I uncovered a man who told me he worked with computers but that it’d be too complicated for me to understand what he did. I took great joy over the next five minutes explaining to him, in painstaking detail, that the degree I did in university was software engineering.

You have always been very busy with either your live shows or your work on tv and radio. What's next?

I’ll be doing another series of the Blame Game and the Today FM show continues on Sundays and the live stuff goes until the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. I’d like to do another series of Eureka, the science panel show we did on RTE2 but there are a few hoops that have to be jumped through before we can confirm that.

You are a fixture on comedy talk shows on TV yet at the same time you are a regular on the stand up circuit. Which comes more naturally to you?

The great fun of comedy panel shows is that they are the closest thing you will do on television to doing stand-up. It’s not like a sketch or a documentary. There is a live audience there and you’re doing jokes and improvising so there’s a great deal of crossover. Stand-up is always the first love. I love the fact there’s no edit. There are no complications to surmount in terms of resources. The scenarios you can talk about are only limited by your imagination.

What’s your favourite thing to do in Limerick?

Well the last time I was down my friend, who is obsessed with rugby, brought me to Thomond Park. Even as someone from Leinster, I can appreciate the atmosphere in that hallowed ground. There is definitely something special in the air. Something familial. I said I’ll go to another match with him soon and, given the season that Munster are having, I think I’ll have to keep my promise.

What is your favourite thing about Limerick audiences?

They’re always up for the gig. Whether it is in Dolans, the Lime Tree, UCH or the college gigs in Mary I, not only are they a bright crowd but they’re also on for the craic. You couldn’t really ask for anything more.

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