‘I love making people laugh’ - Laughter Lounge tour comes to The Civic

By Tiana Binns

They say laughter is the best medicine, so head on over to the event that started it all. Laughter Lounge Live comedy show is back in Dublin on their tour with three of their biggest acts to bring a night of hilarious fun to the community.

Long-time comedians Eric Lalor, John Colleary and Gar Murran are ready to bring their ‘premier brand of comedy’ to the good folks of Dublin town.

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Comedian Gar Murran on stage at the Laughter Lounge

In December of 1997, The Laughter Lounge opened its doors and established itself as a prime comedy venue. Since then over 4,000 comedians have performed with an audience of over one million coming through the doors.

Their huge success brought them around to the idea of setting up a Laughter Lounge comedy tour and that is exactly what Dubliners can go and see on March 8 at 8pm in the main space of the Civic Theatre in Tallaght.

For a gut-busting 90 minutes, Gar, John and Eric will bring all the Laughter Lounge vibes to Tallaght. Tickets for the show can be purchased online for €21 on The Civic's website.

There is also a meal deal that includes the ticket to the show and a two-course meal for €37.

In an interview with The Echo, Gar said: “I love making people laugh and I love being made to laugh, so I’m excited to be back to perform in my hometown of Tallaght.”

Where are you from and what is your background in comedy?

I’m from Tallaght, but I travel a lot around the country for my comedy tours, specifically with Laughter Lounge. I’ve been doing comedy for about 15 years now, so my career has been pretty extensive.

I have performed a lot in the United Kingdom at well-known clubs such as The Hyena, The Glee Clubs, Jongleurs, Amused Moose and Funhouse Comedy Club. In Ireland, I’ve done shows at The International Bar, Comedy Cellar and Roisín Dubh, to name a few. In 2006, I won The Bulmers Comedy Competition and I was a finalist in 2007 in ‘So You Think You’re Funny’. There’s been quite a few comedy festivals that I have participated in as well, including The Kilkenny Cat Laughs Festival in 2009, The Cork Comedy Festival in 2011 and The Leeds Festival, which was also in 2011.

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What can the audience expect from your show?

I perform a different show every night. No matter what group is out there in the audience, I base my show on audience participation. Everything is off the top of my head and based on the crowd for the beginning of my show. I go into more scripted works a bit later though.

At the end of the day, every show will be quite different because every audience is different. Sometimes people are embarrassed or do not want to be involved.

At that point I go to the people who are up for the participation. After 15 years of doing this though I am fairly good at spotting the people who do not want to be involved versus the people who do. I am fine with whatever happens. It’s all about going with the flow of the night.

The people I get to interact with at the shows love being made to laugh. I also love being made to laugh so it just works out that way. Other than that there is no real theme. I talk about family, relationships and things like that. It is not usually a PG13 show though.

It’s going to be a large show too, so that is something to also expect from Laughter Lounge. We have had 300 to 350 people show up every Thursday night and I believe most of the tickets have been sold out since January 13.

They had a pop-up shop a while back in the square on Jervis Street to sell tickets for a reduced price and give away gift bags with them. We sold a lot of tickets for the show that way.

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Comedian Gar Murran

How do you typically go about preparing for a show?

Well, for the scripted parts it can be based on something I am currently going through or have gone through. It can also be based on my relationships with people in my life or my relationship with the world.

For the most part though, since it is not scripted throughout, it’s a bit hard to fully prepare and I will never be fully prepared for where the night could go. I have to be quick on my feet.

Sometimes I have a general outline of things I may say or bring up, but from there it’s all up to the audience. Once, you have been doing comedy for so long, you learn how to roll with the punches.

There is a type of excited anxiety that comes with the experience and I have really done it all. I’ve done shows at bars, wedding, on big stages, kid’s gigs, you name it. It’s all about getting a feel for your audience and really knowing who you are performing for.

Overall, I am always happy with my shows. I am happy with whatever the audience says and wherever they decide to bring me each night. It’s cool because you can come to the show a million times and always get a different performance.

What advice would you give to aspiring comedians?

Well, your first few times are probably going to be dreadful. I know mine were. It takes a lot of practice, not only to be comfortable on stage, but to project that comfortability and confidence to the audience.

There is a great place in Temple Bar that does an open mic night for anybody and everybody to participate in. The place is called Battle of the Axe and it is a great place for novice performers to gain experience with an audience.

Especially with the type of improvising and audience participation that I do. It will take 100 times minimum of being up on that stage until you really get the hang of that. It’s hard to think on your feet while you are still nervous up there.

I guess my biggest advice would be to keep going. Keep practicing and developing your material and stage-craft. Also be flexible. Nothing ever goes as planned and that’s okay. Just keep going for it and you’ll figure it out.

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