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Patrick Kielty on finding the funny in Brexit as Borderline tour hits Inverness and Aberdeen

Patrick Kielty's new show Borderland arrives at The Lemon Tree and Eden Court next week.
Patrick Kielty's new show Borderland arrives at The Lemon Tree and Eden Court next week.

Patrick Kielty is on a series of mini-breaks masquerading as a UK tour of his hit show, Borderline.

“The brilliant thing about comedy audiences is that most people want a laugh from a Wednesday through to a Saturday or a Thursday through to a Sunday… so some people think I’m on tour, but in my head I’m on a series of long weekend mini-breaks,” said the Irish funnyman and TV presenter.

“Then I get back to see the kids and do all the dad stuff at the start of the week, so kind of getting the best of both worlds.”

And he’s finding the “commute to work” for his first UK live tour in seven years much easier since he returned from the US to the UK with his wife – TV presenter Cat Deeley – and two young sons, Milo and James.

Patrick Kielty will bring his Borderline tour to Eden Court and The Lemon Tree.

Patrick Kielty enjoys his ‘sneaky dad naps’ while he’s on tour

“When we were living in America, the idea of going on tour then with two small children, meant crossing the pond and being away from them for two to three months and I didn’t want to do that. The lovely thing here is that everywhere is travelable.”

Which is why he’s thoroughly enjoying criss-crossing the country with Borderline, including arriving at Eden Court in Inverness on Thursday June 2 and the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen on Friday June 3.

“You might be getting a cooked breakfast in a hotel that your arteries might not be getting at home normally, then you might be able to have a sneaky dad nap in the afternoon, when there’s no way you’re getting away with that at home, so it’s pretty much a win-win.”

Patrick Kielty with his wife Cat Deeley.

Patrick is clearly loving his return to his comic and satricial roots with Borderline, his take on borders, national identity and the future of the Union in our post-Brexit world.

It’s a very personal take too, having grown up close to the border in Northern Ireland during the Troubles – his businessman father, Jack, was shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries in the conflict when Patrick was 16 years old.

Patrick Kielty’s Borderline is his most autobiographical show to date

He has described the show as more autobiographical than anything he’s done before. It looks at both the “fun stuff” and “sad stuff” of growing up in Northern Ireland.

Patrick uses his own experiences and his homeland’s recent history to try to make sense of what today’s upheaval means for our shared identities.

“Brexit was one of the reasons I wanted to write the show,” said Patrick.

“I think a lot of people were trying to take back control and thought they were living in a proud island nation and then they found a land border stuck down the back of the sofa and went ‘what are we going to do with this?’”

Patrick said as a child growing up, Northern Ireland was always a “bad news” story, echoes of which are arising in the current debate.

“Whenever you see Brexit on the news, it looks like Northern Ireland is the fly in the ointment. This idea we are a problem child which is ruining things for everybody else.

“I wanted to write the show to say, in actual fact, we did something very few places in the world did. We compromised and we made peace.

Patrick finds comedy in a serious world created by ‘silly decisions’

“I felt maybe I have a set of eyes on some of the divisions that are going on politically around the UK and maybe the world, that allows you to look at stuff a bit differently because you’ve experienced coming out of a bad time, moving into something more positive.”

But underlying all of that is a bedrock of humour – to be found even in the thorniest of subjects in a divided political landscape.

“I find that a serious world is normally created by silly decisions and silly decisions are always funny,” said Patrick.

Patrick Kielty and Cat Deeley were presenters on the BBC’s Fame Academy.

“When I was growing up in Northern Ireland, the funny was in the satire and the bigger picture. When you look back at your life, how you grew up and some of the weird and silly stuff you ended up living through, some if it is pretty batshit crazy and quite funny.”

He firmly believes that comedy and satire plays a role in creating healthy debate around people’s opinions and preconceptions.

How to get ticket for Patrick Kielty’s Borderline at Eden Court and The Lemon Tree

“If someone comes to the show and they are talking about anything in it on the way home, or wondering if I’m right or wrong, or if they are right or wrong, then that’s the job done,” said Patrick.

Patrick Kielty is on an extended UK tour with Borderline.

He’s looking forward to heading for Inverness and Aberdeen – golf clubs in the back of the car – and hopes audiences will enjoy and laugh along with Borderline.

“Come along with an open mind, a full drink, and be happy to join in… this is not a TED talk, it’s a comedy show.”

For tickets to see Borderline at Eden Court visit eden-court.co.uk and for the Lemon Tree visit aberdeenperformingarts.com


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