Thursday 18th April

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30 CHRISTMASES - Promo Image (1), image by Anna Soderblom

Jonny Donahoe: “If Christmas resonates of loss, grief or even guilt, you can’t escape that.”

Next week, rebellious musical comedy Thirty Christmases makes its London debut.  The brainchild of playwright, actor and musical comedian Jonny Donahoe – who stars in the show alongside Rachel Parris and Paddy Gervers – offers an intriguing alternative to more traditional glitzy festive fare.  

Ahead of the three-week run at New Diorama Theatre, Ian Cater caught up with the engaging Donahoe to discuss the show’s origins, and a host of topics ranging from Victoria Wood to reindeer sex.

For Andy Williams, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.  “But for a lot of people, it’s traumatic,” Jonny Donahoe explains, with the patient, persuasive voice of his Every Brilliant Thing character, rather than the booming baritone heard at a Jonny and the Baptists gig.  “If it resonates of loss, grief or even guilt, you can’t escape that.  And it’s compounded by the fact that everywhere you go people are signposting that they’re having a joyous time.”

That harsh reality forms the backdrop to Thirty Christmases, written and performed this month by Donahoe at Euston’s New Diorama Theatre.  If it sounds a heavy premise for a festive show, that was the 34-year-old’s intention.

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Category: Comedy
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Chris Gethard: Career Suicide at Soho Theatre until 4th February 2017

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Gethard’s excellently scripted and painfully honest monologue on depression makes for uncomfortable yet compelling viewing.

“Sometimes people just … break,” says Chris Gethard early on, after explaining that his longstanding issues of anxiety and depression don’t stem from any traumatic childhood experience.  The lights have darkened and his voice has slowed to a standstill.  His glasses near the end of his nose.  His head jerks nervously once, then twice.  “Welcome to a comedy show!”

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Category: Comedy
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Every Brilliant Thing review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

In a golden year for Fringe theatre, Every Brilliant Thing continues to lead the field with its superbly acted tale of suicide and loss that leaves you feeling oddly upbeat.

Jonny Donahoe excels in the one-man play, beginning as a six-year-old boy whose father says that his mother “has done something stupid”.  When the boy learns that she attempted suicide, he applies his mind to a heart-warming solution and makes a list of all the things worth living for.

“Number 1,” he begins, prompting an audience member to look at the card she received on the way in.  “Ice cream,” comes the answer.  “Number 2.”  “Kung Fu movies,” says another.  “3.”  “Burning things.”  He writes down over 100 brilliant things and places the list on his mother’s pillow.  He knows she reads it because he finds the grammar corrected.

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Category: Comedy