Tag Archives: comedy4kids

Comedy genes in one Irish family?

Kate Talbot with her 2014 Cunning Stunt Award

Kate Talbot with 2014 Cunning Stunt Award

A month ago, I blogged about Irish comic Christian Talbot and his now 13-year-old daughter Kate who jointly won the increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award last year and who are both performing at the Edinburgh Fringe next month. Christian is currently doing previews.

“How’s your daughter?” I asked him.

“She’s now booked in for I think it’s two – might be three – dates for Comedy4Kids and Bob Slayer sent me a message:

Hey! The good show you talked about on Fleming’s blog – Let’s do it on the bus! We have Grace the child (11) and Robin (3) who are both performing on the bus.

Bob Slayer’s BlundaBus

Bob Slayer BlundaBus currently in Croydon; soon Edinburgh

Bob Slayer has a double decker bus – the BlundaBus – as one of his Edinburgh Fringe venues this year.

“I sent him dates when Kate was over,” Christian told me, “but then he didn’t reply. I think he’s got caught up touring with Electric Eel Shock (Bob’s Japanese rock band) and then with the BlundaBus. I must email him again and refresh his memory.”

“So are you encouraging Kate to be a comedian?” I asked.

“I don’t really want my daughter to be a comedian though, if she’s good, I’ll happily take the money. She’s interested in doing it and, if she wants to do it, then… It just really depends on whether she enjoys it. We’ll just have to see.

“She can write phenomenally well. Her teachers are just blown away by her writing. The only trouble is she gets distracted by doing that to the detriment of anything else – her maths, her languages and the other stuff. She just wants to read books and write stories. She did this thing for school where she had to describe what it was like to be a cliff.”

Kate and Christian Talbot

Christian Talbot – not an éminence grise, just a proud dad

“A what?” I asked.

“A cliff. And she was talking about the weeds coming up out of it, like the dead fingers of sailors who had crashed against the rocks. I’m very proud of her. And some of her stuff’s quite dark.”

“Got her parents’ genes, then?” I asked.

“Gayle and myself went to Queen’s (University, Belfast) and we were the only two people to do the same degree. We both did English and Anthropology – social anthropology. Kind of learning about cultures. But I started off doing chemistry and physics and computer science and then I changed because I didn’t like it. I was good at chemistry; I just didn’t want to do it for the rest of my life.”

I told Christian: “I think my chemistry master emigrated to New Zealand because he couldn’t face teaching me any more. I always came last – except once when I came next-to-last in the class – and he wrote on my report: A fair try. He emigrated shortly afterwards. He probably thought his teaching career had peaked.”

“I remember,” said Christian, “going to the Head of Chemistry at university when I finished my first lot of exams and asked: Is this what it’s going to be like? Just doing titrations and bunsen burners and beakers and working in a lab? And he said: Yup, pretty much, unless you’re very lucky and you get into petrochemicals and work for somebody like Exxon or Esso or BP or Shell. That didn’t really appeal to me, so I changed courses.”

“Has your wife Gayle got any performance genes?” I asked.

Gayle Hayes with Christian Talbot

Gayle Hayes with Christian Talbot – a showbiz couple or not?

“She did stand-up a couple of weeks ago in Belfast. She did a course on stand-up with a load of other new people and wrote a thing but she had no interest, really, in performing it. She enjoyed the writing and the creating part of it. So she got up and read it off the sheet. Her heart wasn’t really in it and I asked her: Do you want to do it again? She said: No. She just doesn’t have that need – that void – that comedians have… I have to get up and say something!

“Gayle doesn’t admire it particularly. She just thinks there’s something lacking in people who want to get up and show off and talk about themselves. She’s right, of course!”

Leave a comment

Filed under Comedy, Family, Ireland

Cowgatehead casualty Christian Talbot and his award-winning 13 y.o. daughter

Christian’s show was on at the Sligo festival

Christian’s show was on at the Sligo festival

Yesterday’s blog was yet another – surely this must stop soon? – about the chaos surrounding the Cowgatehead venue at this year’s upcoming Edinburgh Fringe.

Yesterday afternoon, I was talking via Skype with Irish comedian Christian Talbot in Belfast.

He told me: “There are a load of people – I was talking to them this morning – they’ve re-applied to the PBH Free Fringe and haven’t heard anything back and they’re waiting on Freestival stuff and it’s just… I mean, it’s really heartbreaking to… I know about ten or twelve people very personally, really good friends, who are… they just have no venue now… They’ve really become very, very disillusioned. They’ve all paid deposits on accommodation, they’ve all booked flights to Scotland which are now useless, they’ve paid for their entry in the Fringe Brochure – in some cases for two shows, which is £600. They really are… yeah… It’s not good… I wrote something for Chortle the other day about how the people who ARE over there this year can make it a bit better… But I don’t think the Fringe has come out of it really well…”

Christian Talbot (centre) with his award, me & Kate Copstick

Christian Talbot (centre) with his award, me & Kate Copstick

Christian and his now 13-year-old daughter Kate won an increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Award last year.

“Kate is doing a full 60-minute show this year, isn’t she?” I asked.

“No. She’s going to do about 3 minutes.”

“Oh lord,” I said. “So much for what I know. But, if she speaks slowly, she can stretch it out to fit.”

“Lots of other people have,” said Christian. “She was supposed to be doing another show. I had one set up with Freestival for a one-off, where we would have a load of kids 7-15 years old each doing three minutes. But that looks to be in doubt now, given the whole debacle.”

“Was it in Cowgatehead?” I asked.

“Yeah.”

“Ah.”

Sad-eyed Kate Talbot, the perfect flyerer, 2014

Sad-eyed Kate Talbot, the perfect flyerer, 2014

“We also had another one-off charity gig set up for the Neuro Foundation, which was going to be quite a big gig and have quite big names at it. That gig is now in doubt.”

“Was that one at Cowgatehead as well?”

“Yes. But neither of those gigs were going to be in the main Edinburgh Fringe Brochure – They were just going to be advertised at the time. So they may go ahead somewhere else…

“But Kate is definitely doing one show – Comedy 4 Kids. Three minutes. And she’s going to do a bit of a tutorial for an hour beforehand. Kate has been plaguing me to do something at the Fringe.”

“Building on her award-winning career start last year?” I asked.

“Absolutely.”

“And as for your own Fringe shows?” I asked.

“My main show Christian Talbot Is Shite at Being Irish is in the Underbelly and my other show Cheaper than Therapy was supposed to be in Cowgatehead. It’s now in Bob Slayer’s BlundaBus. It was supposed to be in Cowgatehead but I lost the venue, of course. Bob just messaged me out of the blue: Have you got a venue? and he gave me six dates.

Christian’s Cowgatehead show now moved to Bob’s BlundaBus

Christian’s Cowgatehead show scheduled in Edinburgh, now moved to Bob’s BlundaBus

“It’s going to be a talk show with a different theme every night. Things that lead us to therapy or things that you find therapeutic.

“So one of the shows will be about religion. We will have one on alcohol. One on your parents messing up your life. and one on depression.

“I did it a couple of times over in Sligo at the festival there, talking about various therapy things. It worked quite well. I just think it’s something different. I didn’t want to get people up to do stand-up again.”

“It’s an extension of your Seven 2 Ten podcast?” I asked.

“Yes. A little bit, but with a theme to each one.”

“Is your podcast still going?”

“I haven’t really had time,” Christian told me. “I’m busier than I’ve ever been. I’ll probably do Cheaper than Therapy as a podcast-and-record and put them out.”

“You don’t see the Fringe chat show as a leaping-off point for something else?”

“No. It’s just a bit of fun. It would be lovely if it was, wouldn’t it? But I’m not doing it for that reason. I’m doing it for a laugh.”

There’s a rarity. Someone doing a show at the Edinburgh Fringe just for the craic.

“This coming Sunday,” said Christian. “I’m doing a preview of Christian Talbot Is Shite at Being Irish at the Museum of Comedy in London – I’m on straight after Lewis Schaffer’s show.”

“Oh lord,” I said. “Oh lord. For you, the nightmare never ends.”

2 Comments

Filed under Comedy