A Quick Q and A with MICF’s Cian Kinsella

Cian Kinsella of Irish comedy act Lords of Strut answered our questionnaire and compared his show to Riverdance. Continue reading for the full comparison…


Artist name: LORDS OF STRUT Lords of Strut

MICF show name: LORDS OF STRUT at The (Very) Big Laugh Out

Dates: 5 – 17 April (no shows on Monday)

Venue: Fed Square and City Square

Tickets available here.


Q. What is your show about, and how did it come into being?

A. Ireland’s most lovable idiots bring their mischief and mayhem on tour; a show for the whole family, you can even bring your granny!

Brothers Famous Seamus and Sean-tastic will do anything to be famous, really anything!

If you’re lucky you might even end up as Sean’s adopted family!

Charm, sharp wit, and good humour with flashes of surprising acrobatic skill and just enough naughtiness to keep kids and adults guessing… silly and bonkers – absolutely bonkers! High energy and funny, suitable for all ages.

The show came into being when Cormac Mohally and Cian Kinsella (aka, Famous Seamus and Sean-tastic) met in 2008. They were both circus performers living in the small Irish city of Cork. They started to work together making some routines. What they were making was funny so they decided to make a show and to make a show using circus skills and pretending to be dancers who had failed in X-Factor but had taken their own show on tour despite their failure.

Q. What makes MICF different from other festivals you’ve been in?

A. It’s in Melbourne and Melbourne seems to come out and really get into the festival. Also, of all the festivals we perform at in Australia, when people in Ireland hear you are performing in MICF it is the only one they have heard of and then they think you must be doing something right.

Q. Who are your not-to-be-missed acts at this year’s festival?

A. Adrienne Truscot, Zoe Comb Mars, Peter and Bambi (The Magic Inside), Sammy J and Randy Land, Sam Simmons, David O’Doherty, Butt Kapinsky, Juan Vesuvius.

Q. What do you believe is the purpose of comedy?

A. There [are] a few. When people laugh on their own it is cathartic, when they laugh together it is cathartic and it bonds them all together (they all agree). So as animals it’s good for us to laugh. Comedy can be a place where the world gets described in a way that we understand and can laugh at, even things that feel too serious to laugh at. Comedy for the world is like a friend in the group who is funny, it loosens everyone up and addresses sometimes uncomfortable issues and allows us to laugh at them and maybe understand them and what we think about them a bit better. It also gives me a job.

Q. Can the reaction of your audience make or break your show?

A. Yes. A great reaction will make a great show, and sometimes a shit reaction will make the show shit but not always. Sometimes in a shit reaction, we find the fun somewhere else and turn it around. But we prefer a good reaction.

Q. What’s the best review you’ve ever received?

A. Best, personally it was a review in the Irish Times. We have had good international reviews but this was the first really good review in an Irish national paper and it’s the paper my family read.

Q. Do you have any unforgettable over-zealous fan experiences or heckles?

A. Yes, just the other day a young kid stood up in a moment in the show where Sean is crying and said loudly, so the whole audience could hear, “I love you, Sean”. There was no way of ignoring that so we had to thank her for expressing her feelings and give out to the rest of the audience for not expressing theirs.

Q. Is there an act you would love to heckle?

A. God no, I don’t get any pleasure out of watching acts I don’t like and acts I do I wouldn’t want to heckle them.

Q. What would you put in a survival pack for MICF performers or audiences?

A. Tell them to listen to word of mouth for what shows to go and see.

Take a punt and go see something at random.

Bring a hip flask for if they are in a show they can’t stand.

Write a joke, tell it to your friends, then ask them for money and see what a strange job it is to work in comedy.

Q. Do you have plans for your show beyond MICF?

A. This show is like Riverdance – it just keeps touring. We make other shows that tour simultaneously and have a new show coming out in June that we plan to bring to MICF next year.

Q. Do you prefer to write and perform under pressure, or in a relaxed environment?

A. Need space and time, a dark room, no distractions and get good and crazy. That’s when the best stuff comes out.

Q. Do you have any stage superstitions?

A. I do a few air punches before going on stage, like Rocky.


Maddi Ostapiw

Maddi is a performer who has been too scared to stand in the spotlight for the last few years, so she channels her need for love and appreciation into writing about the theatre instead. An energetic consumer of musical theatre, she is currently earning a degree in journalism and teaches voice in her small hometown. Maddi is normally covered in cat fur, has an opinion on everything, and in the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda, is not throwing away her shot.

Maddi Ostapiw

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