Saturday 22 October 2016

Celebrity Diary with Al Porter: I'm getting in tune for my comedy swing gig

Al Porter;Joanne McNally; and Bernard O'Shea
Al Porter;Joanne McNally; and Bernard O'Shea
FREEZIN' The Story of the Snow Queen, starring Ireland's funniest Dame Al Porter, at The Olympia Theatre.
FREEZIN' The Story of the Snow Queen, starring Ireland's funniest Dame Al Porter, at The Olympia Theatre.

I had a brilliant time at the launch party for the Vodafone Comedy Festival in the Odeon on Wednesday night.

It was really sunny so we were all outside.

I was there with Colm Hayes who I work with on DriveBy on 2fm.

It's great to see big acts like Reginald D Hunter and Nina Conti and people you only normally see on the TV performing at a great festival in Ireland.

It'll be a busy summer of gigs but I'm going to be taking my show Al Porter Is Yours on tour in the autumn.

I'll be going all around the country and we're even going to try and get over to the Aran Islands as well.


In September I'll be doing a show for one night only which is going to be a swing show called Al Porter Swings Both Ways and it's going to be a bit of a change from my stand up.

It's going to be a night of music and stories - so funny stories and then me and the band are going to sing Louis Prima/Bobby Darin-style hits.

People often say they didn't know I could sing and I say: "I can't but it doesn't stop me".

I'm able to hold a tune and there'll be a really good singer who'll mask what I lack.


I'm excited for my first solo run at Edinburgh Fringe

I'm off to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for my first full run in August.

I'm on every single night of the week, which is great.


I'll be doing 30 shows at 9pm in the Gilded Balloon every night and then there'll be other compilation shows as well.

It'll be the same show I put on in Vicar Street called Al Porter Is Yours but it's a smaller venue so I'll have to do without my confetti canons.

I'll be living with one of my best mates, Karl Spain, while I'm there and we're going to be writing this year's panto, Freezin', together during the day which will be great craic.

I might even bring my costume with me to get into character (right).

Meanwhile, I'm just back from London where I was supporting Katherine Ryan and we got on brilliantly.

She's so funny and she introduced me to a lot of great people like Russell Howard and David Walliams.

I played the Civic Theatre in Tallaght last night and a few drinks in the Jobstown House was the after-party but this was another level.


I love a party vibe backstage at my gigs

I insist on a noisy backstage, whether it's a stand up gig or the panto.

I can't get into that zen mode of "just give me my moment" before a show - I don't do that.

I don't have a dressing room - I get dressed in the kitchen because everyone comes in and they have their cups of tea and that's where the laugh and that chat and the craic is.

I love playing loud music when I'm backstage as well especially at Christmas.

I have friends of mine who I recruit to be crew on my stand-up show so I tell the theatre that I don't need house crew, so it's loads of craic - just a big party.

I've the same agent as the likes of Neil Delamere and PJ Gallagher and they were saying that those lads like to be quiet and be by themselves to get in the mood.

But I need a distraction from what's about to happen or I'll get nervous.

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