Sunday, 13 April 2014

Comedy Fest Q&A: Eamonn Marra

Comedy Fest Q&A: Eamonn Marra

Comedy Fest Q&A


1)Tell us the name of your show
Man on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

2)Which came first – the show name or the show content?
Well some content came first, then the name, then I changed the content and now it doesn’t fit the name as well as it could but I think it’s a better show. It’s still a good name and a good show though.

3)C’mon, be honest….
I am always honest

4)Any other working titles for the show?
I had other ideas for shows that have some similar ideas and content, one called Welcome to the Internet (you live here now) and one called Help me win the Wilberforce Award. These shows might yet happen.

5)How long – honestly- have you been working on this?
This is my first comedy fest solo show, so I guess I’ve been working towards this developing my voice and content for the two years I’ve been performing. But I’ve only seriously been focussing on this show since late February after performing a different show in the Fringe Festival.

6)What’s been the biggest challenge of pulling this show together?
Working out the structure. I have a lot of ideas and a lot of material which tends to come reasonably easily, but working out the narrative sequence of the show without it ending up as a bunch of five minute sets being squished together with a vague overriding theme. I’m not sure if I’ve succeeded in this yet.

7)Who’s your biggest comedy rival – and why?
There is no point in rivals when we can work together instead.

8)Who’s your biggest comedy friend – and why?
This is hard, I’ve known Joseph Harper a long time and he is probably my biggest inspiration and one of the main reasons for doing comedy, I don’t see him very often anymore but he’s more important to me than he probably realises. Ricky Threlfo has been my biggest supporter and is a lot of fun to perform with and I wouldn’t be where I was without him. Johnny Potts is performing on some of the same nights in the same nights in the same venue as me and I couldn’t think of a person I would rather share that honour with.

9)Which show is your must see? Why?
Hayley Sproull and Chris Parker’s show Tighty Whiteys.

10)Give us your definition of a great night out during the festival
An early show at Bats with a friend during which we bump into another group of two or three people then we eat dinner over the comedy fest booklet deciding what to see next and end up deciding on a show that starts in five minutes across town so hurrying to see that. Someone buys me a beer and I either meet cool people or a cool person who I don’t think remembers me from a year or two before remembers me.

11)What goes through your mind, the minute before curtain goes up?
I realise that the only thing I can remember is the very first line I’m going to say and have no idea how I will get through six minutes/ten minutes/quarter/half/an hour.

12)What about when you’re on stage?
Some sort of burning white light of fear and appreciation

13)How easily distracted are you?
I am at university writing at essay at the moment.

14)Give us your dream comedy line up
I feel like such an imposter answering this question, I do not have an extensive knowledge of comedy. Louis CK and Simon Amstell and Maria Bamford would be there. Miranda July and David Sedaris and George Saunders would all be there too even though they’re not comedians. Joseph Harper would be doing something. The audience would be nice and no one would say anything racist.

15)Just finally, where will you be in 5 years’ time
If things continue at the rate I’m going at the moment, I’ll be in my eleventh year of an undergraduate degree.

EAMONN MARRA performs his solo show MAN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (WLG 5 - 8 May) as part of the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival in cahoots with Old Mout Cider (24 April – 18 May). For more info visit

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