Christian Talbot is Shite at Being Irish

At the Fringe last year, some members of Christian Talbot’s audience got up to leave part-way through his show, explaining that they thought he would 'be more Irish'. This year, Talbot is back to try explain what that means, how he fails to be Irish, and how he succeeds. Beginning by discussing growing up in Ireland in the late 1980s, and how his family celebrated Guy Fawkes day rather than St Patrick’s day, Talbot’s self-deprecating style and penchant for clever one-liners is established right from the start.

Talbot may call himself 'shite at being Irish' but when it comes to putting together a good show, well, he’s great at that.

Suddenly, Talbot launches into his PowerPoint quiz ‘How Irish Are You?’ in which a member of the audience is invited onstage to answer multiple choice questions about the country and its culture, all while wearing the so-called 'Hat of Irishness'. This allows for Talbot to make some particularly pointed jokes, as sometimes even when the answer is what one expects, he manages to twist this answer into a punch-line. 

He also uses media in order to manipulate a photo of his grandfather so that ‘he’ speaks to him, which creates an amusing dialogue. The highlight of Talbot’s set, however, would have to be his so called 'Anti-Craic Joke Book'; a series of jokes designed to go against what run-of-the-mill Irish comedians use as their material. A lot of these are satirical and Talbot delivers them in a dry, deadpan way, but this only adds to their humour, in stark contrast to the alter-ego Talbot is forced to adopt when performing in Ireland, where the most common punch-line seems to be: 'What are you, a Protestant?'.

Covering hurling, Irish traditional music, drinking, the smoking ban (in a hilarious musical Irish-to-English translation), speaking the Irish language, morphine and more, Talbot delivers a somewhat erratic show but one that is full of heart. He is never afraid to poke fun at his native Ireland, or himself, but the message on which he ends his show is an uplifting one. Talbot may call himself 'shite at being Irish' but when it comes to putting together a good show, well, he’s great at that.

Broadway Baby Radio interview with Christian Talbot

Reviews by Catriona Scott

Laughing Horse @ Espionage

Shakespeare Catalysts

★★★
Greenside @ Nicolson Square

1984

★★★★★
Paradise in The Vault

Holy Sh*t

★★★★
Assembly Rooms

Marie

★★★★★
Palmerston Place Church

Legacy: The Story of Martin Luther

★★★★★
theSpace on the Mile

Grace

★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Ireland! Home of the black stuff and the craic. The whole world wants to be Irish and sure why wouldn't they? So what happens if you actually are and you're shite at it? Christian Talbot looks awful in all 40 shades of green, and he's allergic to Guinness and rain. He can't speak the language and he's afraid of potatoes. Winner of the the 2014 Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award. 'An absolutely engaging performer' (Scotsman).