Preview: Ardal O’Hanlon, That’s Fife Comedy Festival

Ardal will play the Carnegie Hall tomorrow (Friday)
Ardal will play the Carnegie Hall tomorrow (Friday)

Irish comedian Ardal O’Hanlon may be best known to many for his role as Father Dougal in hit Channel 4 comedy ‘Father Ted’, but this weekend he brings his live stand up show to Fife.

He performs at Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline tomorrow (Friday).

So what can people expect from his show?

He told the Press:“It’s your regular stand up show really. It’s a little bit silly, which is the objective of course.

“It’s all based on real life, but I’m the type that likes to go straight for the joke.

“There’s a punchy element to it but I’d like to think that’s there’s an element of truth at the root, but ultimately it’s purely to entertain.

“I toured a lot throughout 2013 and I did the Edinburgh Festival so since then really I’ve been working on cobbling together this show. So it’s taken about three years.

“I always try and tour about every three years now.

“I don’t do stand up every night like I used to because I’m lucky that I’m doing bits of TV, theatre or writing in between tours.

“But I spend about an hour every day working on stand up material and I’ll go out every two or three weeks and do a one off show to try it out.

“I was at the Glasgow Comedy festival a few weeks ago.

“So it’s working on it to try and coalesce the central idea and get the whole thing up to scratch to then take it out on tour, so it usually takes about three years.”

For Ardal, his working life is not solely based on comedy.

With a history of acting and writing he’s much sought after.

“I’ve always been a bit restless and although stand up is absolutely my bread and butter and basically a part of my DNA and it’s what my whole life and lifestyle revolves around, I do get asked to do other things,” he continued.

“I’m very lucky in that regard.

“Stand up is the bedrock of what I do but it can be quite a lonely expereince.

“You travel on your own, you’re in a room on your own and can find yourself alone in an attic somewhere, but when I’m doing a play or a TV show I’m working with other people, amazingly talented people, and that’s always a great joy and a great escape.

“I’ve basically been combining that with the stand up for the last two decades.”

And tomorrow’s gig also features a special performance from a master of deadpan delivery, and a colleague of Ardal’s from the Father Ted days, Michael Redmond who played Father Stone in the series.

Ardal said: “I’m so excited, he’s always been an inspiration to me.

“When I started out I genuinely loved his stuff so I looked up to him.

“He’s absolutely one of my all time favourite comedians and I’m delighted to be working with him.

“He’s so droll and his material is so clever and well thought out, and he has that incredible comedic face.

“Someone once described him to me as a railway station master from eastern Europe in the 1920s!

“As I don’t do this every night now I look forward to the shows more than ever.

“Sometimes you might find it too nerve wracking or you’re not really in the mood.

“But once you get out there it’s the greatest release and the greatest feeling and at my age, if you don’t want to do it then you shouldn’t, and I put everything into it.

“It’s always exciting to play somewhere you’ve never played before and one of the highlights of my tour in 2013 was in Kirkcaldy, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to that neck of the woods.”