Famous Seamus, Lords of Strut, Hillary Rose, ‘Handy Sandy’, Brian Deady and Ciara Elaine Budds, Toy Soldier. Picture: Rob Murphy
There’s a surreal time in store this St Stephen’s Night as one half of Cork-based circus performance duo Lords of Strut flies solo at the city's mini-festival Corkscrew. Ahead of the gig, Play’s Maria Tracey chats to Cormac Mohally, aka Famous Seamus, who believes we all need a little more dance in our lives...
“Get your dancing pants on… and make sure they're tight!” That's the advice from one-half of Cork-based acrobatic comedy act, Lords of Strut, who will perform at The Mardyke Complex on St Stephen’s Night for the mini-festival Corkscrew.
The duo, made up of Famous Seamus and Sean-tastic, two ‘brothers’ who want nothing more than to be the most famous dancers who ever lived, will split for a while this Christmas, but Famous Seamus says that the show will go on.
“When were asked to do Corkscrew, I thought ‘great’. Unfortunately no one realised that Cian (Kinsella) is not my actual brother. I live in Glasheen but Cian is not from Cork so I’m going solo for this one. It’s going to be something different, a real DJ set,” he says.
The characters, who have been a huge hit at festivals throughout Britain and Ireland over the past four years, are acclaimed for their absurdist, surreal shows featuring both humour and dazzling acrobatics. Both Kinsella and Mohally are Philippe Gaulier-trained clowns and multi-talented circus performers. Naturally, acrobatics and kick-ass dance routines appear throughout the show. In the end, it’s a breathtaking display of physical comedy, as well as a subtle - and sometimes brash - satire of celebrity culture.
The comedy element shines through the underlying plot, as Famous Seamus suspects that he is being held back from becoming world famous because of Seantastic’s bungling misadventures. “I’m not sure yet if Famous Seamus will pass a remark on Sean-tastic’s absence,” ponders Mohally. “See, many people mightn’t know how I am or who we are, and there is no point in confusing the situation.”
Instead, Mohally says he will channel the energy the Lords of Strut have created in recent times with their raves, including the Rave Inna Jungle, which took place outside The Roundy earlier this month. “We got people to bring plants, and it was sort of a flash mob in a way. It will be different from what I’ll be doing St Stephen’s Night, but the energy will be the same,” he says.
But will there be dancing? “I’ll be playing the music, so it’s a bit tough to come out but there are some songs I will be definitely be out for like What Is Love by Haddaway,” he smiles. “And for those not dancing, I’ll make it my business to reach out to them… I might even crowd surf as well!”. The outfits that the duo are long associated with - hot pants and skin-tight vests - will also be represented.
This St Stephen’s night will be the last Irish event for the foreseeable future for the Lords of Strut, who are due to fly out to Australia for a three-month tour in mid January. “They are flying us out… not in business class though mind you,” laughs Mohally.
Their first gig down under is at the World Buskers Festival in Christchurch, New Zealand from Thursday, January 17th to Sunday, January 27th. The duo will then perform at both Perth and Adelaide Fringe Festivals, Fremantle Street Arts Festival before finishing the tour at Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
While Mohally is justifiably excited about the whole occasion, he says that it will be “hard” to leave his family for three months.
Joining Famous Seamus at Corkscrew will be the critically acclaimed Brian Deady with his only Cork date in December, electro-rock trio Toy Soldier and explosive fun party mixes from DJ HER of RTÉ’s The Fear and The Republic of Telly fame. Freakscene resident DJ Fadd Jnr and veterans of Ireland’s underground dance music scene Robin Keys and John Barry will also perform on the night.
Local event organiser Eddie Kay explains that he wanted a space where people of different age groups and circles with different tastes in music could come together for one big festive party and unwind after the busy build up to Christmas. “Corkscrew has something for everyone,” he says.
Twenty acts, three rooms, under one roof for St Stephen's Night… there is nothing left to do but dance!
Tickets are €15 (early bird) / €17.50 (at the door) and are available from Plugd Records at The Triskel, The Crop Shop Barbers Paul Street, The Mardyke Sheares St, Mother Jones Flea Market McCurtain St and Filter Brew Bar Georges Quay. Doors are from 8pm to 2am.