Lords of Strut hit Laya Healthcare's City Spectacular this weekend - and we have a little chat
You have got to admit it, the best thing about TV talent competitions like the X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent are the god-awful and delusional court-jesters who humiliate themselves on national TV. Letting these wannabes audition in the first place is a recipe for disaster yet we're glued to the screen. Cork based circus performers Cian Kinsella and Cormac Mohally admit it too - and they've based their hilarious, brilliant and award winning act Lords of Strut on the very people, desperate for fame, who fall flat and fail in front of millions.
The difference with their show of course, is that Lord of Strut are genuinely gifted performers with a real knack for comedy and acrobatics.
The duo won last year's Laya Healthcare Performance World Championship and are bringing their show to the re-branded Laya Healthcare City Spectacular - a free family festival - in Dublin's Merrion Square on Friday, July 11th and Saturday, July 12th and Fitzgerald Park in Cork on Sunday, July 20th.
Lords of Strut have performed all over the world and they are seriously busy these days; as well as performing at the Laya Healthcare City Spectacular they're embarking on a month long residency in Edinburgh from July 30th and they are playing in Switzerland, Cork and er, Letterkenny in between. Despite their hectic schedule, Cian generously let me interrupt his shopping in Cork's English Market to tell me all about the show.
You are 'Ireland's Hardest Working Man Band' and the 'Best Dancers the World Has Ever Seen' but some of our readers may not know what Famous Seamus and Sean Tastic [the guys' alter egos] are all about. Can you enlighten?
Cian: They are two brothers who delusionally think they are the best dancers in the world. Their whole life has been about entertainment and they think they should be celebrities - and they are fascinated by celebrities - but really they are the most unlikely pair who would ever have the talents to become famous.
The idea of the characters came two years ago when myself and Cormac were playing around with different comedy sketches. We came to the rejects from X-Factor where the really bad ones just can concede how they didn't get picked and get angry about it and act really crazy about it and we were like - we should do those characters. They're so off their heads but they just want to be on stage and they do the crappest things but with some conviction behind it and it's very watchable.
We try and walk that line as much as we can, so people are going, "Oh my God, they're bad, they're actually really sh*t!" and then they go "Oh, wait no, he's standing on his head, he must be good. He did a flip! He must be good."
It's much more fun for us if people also understand that we're playing that line and they get the irony straight away. Generally when you're at a nice festival people get that it's a joke and get the irony and then they really go on the journey with you.
Did you always want to combine comedy and your acrobatic skills in one show?
Cian: Never had much of a choice! Any time we did acrobatics we made people laugh. Neither of us are classically trained in gymnastics or dance or circus, it's just stuff that we've learned from having an interest in it. Though we can go off and do good moves and we train a lot and everything and it's another passion, the idea of doing something too seriously? I don't think I could.
Everything has to be tongue-in-cheek and a laugh. In fact we tried to do something serious one time, a kind of a serious acrobatic number to electronic music and it was ridiculous! Even Woody Allen was trying to tell people's stories and they were real stories and people thought he was taking the piss. It's a thing that happens to a lot of comedians, they want to be and they try to be serious but people laugh at them.
Well, that's what people want, people want to laugh!
Cian: Yes, people want to laugh! We can all look around for what we want to do in our lives and it can be a very difficult thing to find what you want to do but once I started making people laugh on stage I was like "Oh this is a good thing to do, I should do this."
So what can people expect from the shows in Dublin and Cork?
Cian: Well if they haven't seen us before they're in for a treat! And if they have seen us before they'll want more and we'll give it to them.
We are bringing the same show back that we won with last year. In the meantime we have made another show and if people want to see that they'll have to go to Donegal or Edinburgh or Dublin Fringe in September. We love doing this show, we've been doing it for years and we get a kick out of it cause it's different every time we do it. The material might be the same but the surroundings are different and different things happen.
Each show is a little bit different because you never have the same audience and it's not a theatre show where the audience just sit and watch, it's really involved. We go out to the audience, we bring audience members up on stage...one of the beauties of being on the street is that anything can happen.
You don't know if a toddler is going to rush the stage, or if there'll be a group of teenagers or a drunk guy or people heckling you...We always work on the street so we have that developed into us, that's how all our shows go. Genuinely, it's really great for us to surprise people who came and see something completely unexpected to them.
Don't miss the lads perform at the Laya Healthcare City Spectacular - it's a show not to be missed and it's free! Also, if you want a laugh before the weekend, check out their brilliant website.
Story by Miriam Burke | 13:00 | Thursday 10th July 2014 | Festival News