Monday, 10 July 2017

The Dramaturgy on the Bus: Carl Donnelly @ Edfringe 2017

Venue: BlundaBus

Date: 3rd – 27th August

Time: 7:30pm (55min) 

Following a sold-out run at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival and nationwide tour with his critically acclaimed show Bad Man Tings, double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Carl Donnelly will return to the Fringe with his brand new show The Nutter on the Bus, performing at the BlundaBus from the 3rd – 27th August at 7:30pm.

The Nutter on the Bus sees Carl caught between his traditional working class upbringing and life in the new-age hippy division of the Metropolitan Liberal Elite®. Between disappointing his carnivore parents and crying around a campfire in an ayahuasca induced Shamanic haze, Carl’s new lifestyle is a mystical, meditative adventure that the formerly sceptical lapsed Catholic never dreamed of. But has Carl seen the light? Or is he just a nutter on a bus?

What was the inspiration for this performance?
The main inspiration for this show was partaking in an ayahuasca ceremony in October last year where I drank a hallucinogenic tea in the woods and had visions of my childhood. It made me realise how far removed I am from my childhood and family and how I should discuss it onstage.

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas? 
It’s an amazing way to communicate ideas and thoughts on the world. It allows the audience to not only hear or see and idea but to also see it through the eyes of the performer(s). What better way to fully understand an idea than to feel it from the perspective of someone else 

How did you become interested in making performance?
My fall into comedy was purely by chance. I had been writing comedy ideas and sketches since my mid teens but never had the guts to do anything with them until a girlfriend in my early twenties signed me up to a stand up comedy workshop. It was a revelation as I found a platform where I could share my ideas and they seemed to go down well. From there I threw myself into it and the rest is history.

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?
My approach changes with every show. Sometimes I’ll have a topic that I really want to discuss and that will be the starting point. Other times (like this year) it will be an event that sparks the making of a show. After the Ayahuasca ceremony in October, I felt like I couldn’t write a show that didn’t discuss it as it was such a strange but interesting experience.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?
In terms of content, yes. It is straight stand up and storytelling but the venue is unusual. I’m performing on the Blundabus this year as thought considering the subject matter, it would be interesting performing it in a less conventional space. Where better to share tales of Shamanic ceremonies and revelations than on the top deck of a bus?

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
I hope as with all my previous shows that the audience find it funny but also come away feeling like they’ve learned a lot about me. I try and do the comedy that I like to watch. I like to laugh but also feel like I’m getting to really know the performer. I hope that I do that when I’m onstage.

A regular face on television, Carl’s credits include multiple appearances on Mock The Week (BBC Two), Russell Howard's Good News (BBC Three), Stand Up For The Week (Channel 4), Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central (Comedy Central), Dave's One Night Stand, Alan Davies’ As Yet Untitled (Dave) andFootball Tonight (BT Sport).

In 2013 Carl and Chris Martin relaunched the Carl Donnelly and Chris Martin Comedy Podcast, which has since recorded over 160 episodes, gained over 50,000 subscribers and been highlighted as a top ten comedy podcast by the Guardian. The podcast will also be featuring at the Edinburgh Fringe with a variety of special guests on week days throughout the festival at Heroes @ The Hive at 9:45pm.

Carl has twice been nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Awards – as Best Newcomer in 2009 and for Best Show in 2013. He has also won Best Newcomerat The Chortle Awards, Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year and Laughing Horse New Act of the Year. As well as completing several nationwide UK tours, Carl has performed at some of the world’s biggest comedy festivals including Montreal Just for Laughs, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Sydney Comedy Festival and Kilkenny Cat Laughs.

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