Comedian Gearoid Farrelly is putting on a live show of his hilarious podcast Fascinated for Dublin Podcast Festival. Eurovision winner Niamh Kavanagh and singer-songwriter Naimee Coleman will be making a guest appearance on the show.
Dublin Podcast Festival is now in its third year running with another exceptional lineup of talent spread across multiple venues. On Saturday, 9th November, Farrelly will be taking to the stage to do a live performance of Fascinated in the Podcast Studios, a night that will mix stand-up performances, witty interviews, and live singing.
Fascinated came about from Farrelly’s love of 80’s pop stars and over the past five years, it has gained worldwide popularity. Each episode, he interviews numerous celebrities, such as Tyne Daley (which caused him to have “little gay meltdown beside her,” as he said), Matthew Marsden, and Celena Cherry to name a few.
Ahead of his live show, Farrelly speaks about what is in store for the audience, the benefits of podcasts for comedians, and how comedy has changed over the years.
What are you most excited about for the upcoming Fascinated live show?
My podcast is kind of like my passion project cause I get to meet all these people I’ve been a fan of and it’s good craic. So it’s great to actually put that in front of a live audience.
So it will be something different. I’m actually cancelled friends with Niamh Kavanagh and Naimee Coleman, so it’s going to be lovely to do a show with them. Also, Niamh is going to sing In Your Eyes, and that’s going to be amazing.
One thing I have really noticed is that my podcast has real gay following, like 85% of the messages I get about it are from gay men. The fact that I am a gay guy, it’s nice to be performing to your people.
It’s great that loads of different types of people like my stand-up, that’s the goal when you’re starting something like this. It’s great when I get a gay audience; I just love it. Hopefully, the gays will come out.
What’s the biggest difference between a live podcast show and a comedy stand-up show?
The way the stand-up show works is I go out, and it’s just me on my own for an hour and a quarter, and the support act before. With the podcast show, I will do ten minutes of stand-up to warm up the crowd,, and then it will just be me interviewing people, and then they will do the songs we have been talking about.
The podcast is mainly based off pop singers that I was a fan of as a kid. With Naimee, like she has a bi,g hit in Ireland and in the UK, so she is going to talk about being on top of the pops, and being on tour, and releasing albums. What we are going to try to do at the end is, for Eurovision fans, we are going to try to recreate the moment Niamh won the Eurovision.
So it’s kind of all broken up.
How did Fascinated come about?
I’d done a couple of shows on RTE, and I just did a panel. It was just dreadful. And I did like ten of them,, and when I finished, I was just like ‘Jesus.’
I had the idea for Fascinated to do it as a T.V show and I think I just had such a bad experience with that live panel show that I thought I didn’t really want to do anything on telly ever again. I had enough of being mortified, and I thought well I know what I want to do with this.
So I thought if I take full control of it and make it as a podcast, I could do it in my own time, make sure the quality is good, use the clips I want, I don’t have to answer to anybody, and also I could set my hours on it. So I started to work away on it at home and then released a batch of six of them all together then. And then I’ve been doing that every year for the past six years.
I mean I’m definitely glad I did it that way. I think that is one of the things comedians have to do it; we have to create something else to make them want to go and see you do stand-up. I think it used to be telly, but it’s just not that anymore.
How has comedy changed since you started?
The whole landscape has changed. When I started, there was a real root. There were lots of established RTE television shows. There were ways that new comedians could get seen and go on then. People were spending a lot of money on comedy at the time.
I think you have to be a bit more creative now. I think it is harder and harder for comedians to breakthrough. And that’s comedians at all levels that are putting on gigs, there just a harder sell these days. But I think it’s better that comedians now make their own sketches, they take responsibility for getting their own audience in, and then it can’t be taken away from them by a T.V show being cancelled.
Before you got into comedy, you worked in I.T. What made you leave?
As I always say, I worked in IT for a long time, and I’m sure I’ll work at it again. I was doing well in comedy, and there was a part of me that thought ‘I’m going to get sick because I am doing two full-time jobs essentially and I need to pick one.’ Voluntary redundancy came up, and I thought okay, I could get some money, and it would set me up to be a full-time comedian. I just did that thinking I would get a year out of it, but that was five years ago.
I think it is good to go full time at it for a while. It focuses the mind and makes you decide if this is really what I want.
You have worked alongside Joan Rivers and Sarah Millican, what have you learnt from those experiences?
I think that you learn the same lesson over and over again and you see it whether you are a small act or super famous act. And that is that standup is gruelling because no matter what level you are at, you are still going out to a big audience to do an hour and a half on your own. From Sarah’s show, I learned you have to take care of yourself a bit.
I think you learn professionalism. Joan Rivers is such a workhorse, what I learned from her was you have to just keep writing. I mean, she wrote every day. Comedy is the product of work.
Farrelly describes the live show of Fascinated as “the gay event of the year”, and with such a stellar lineup, it promises to be an incredible performance. To grab your tickets, you can find them at this link.
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