Comedian Patrick Monahan brings That 80s Show to Wells
- Credit: Steve Ullathorne
The Teeside funnyman tells the story of his 1980s youth, the decade of pop hits but also when his family arrived in the UK escaping from the Iran war.
What do the 1980s mean to you? New romantic quiffs? Big shoulder pads? Electro-pop hits? For comedian Patrick Monahan they bring back memories of when his family arrived on Teesside escaping from the Iran war.
Patrick's memories and reminiscences of being an immigrant to Britain make for a unique stand-up show, which he is bringing to Wells-next-the-Sea on April 8.
That 80s Show takes us through Patrick's youth, with anecdotes that are both hilarious and thought provoking. It is a very different, but yet very familiar look back at the decade.
Patrick was born in Iran but grew up in the North East, where his parents now run a caravan site a few miles out of Middlesbrough. Reluctance to turn down work is to do with that work ethic again: 'Never say no. My dad was always like that.'
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This is perhaps the comedian's most personal show to date taking in starting school without any grasp of English vocabulary, his Irish/Iranian heritage, his father's encounters with discrimination and his mother's experience of migration.
Timely themes but also packed with laughs — and audience members are encouraged to bring their dancing shoes to the show too.
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Since winning ITV's Show Me The Funny in 2011, Patrick has become much in demand with prime time TV exposure that has undoubtedly catapulted him into the comedy spotlight, he'd spent 10 years climbing the comedy ladder before getting his break.
A regular MC and headlining act at the top London and UK comedy, he performs hundreds of shows a year and won the 2015 'Hardest Working Comedian of the Year Award' for playing the highest number of venues in the UK.
'Normally I'll do about 350-400 gigs a year,' says the Redcar-raised comic.
Patrick says keeping his comedy 'current' is absolutely critical. 'I keep it personal to me, but it's also got to be about stuff that other people can relate to,' he adds.
It was legendary comic Dave Allen who got him first interested in stand-up. Ironic, as neither can remember him standing up much.
'Dave Allen was amazing as a kid watching a stand up comedian sit down and control the audience with such ease which looked like he was sipping a glass of water — which was probably something a lot stronger!' he says. 'My dad, being Irish, would just be cracking up, rolling about. I thought 'you know what, if I could do it I'd love to do a job like this'.'
Patrick's brother was the one who really got him started. 'I came down to visit him in London and it was totally different. This was like 2000-2001; up north everything was closed. They had like one alternative comedy club.
'In London there was one or two clubs on every street corner. My brother said 'you like your talking, your comedy, why don't you just go along, go on and do five minutes'?'
He grabbed some local listings, watched a bit of a show and the following week was back, this time on stage.
'Comedy is the only job or profession in the world where there's no training, no course, no apprenticeship, if you want to do it you've just got to jump in.'
• Patrick Monahan: That 80s Show, Gordon Barrett Memorial Hall, Clubbs Lane, Wells-next-the-Sea, April 8, £10 (£9 cons), £5 students, 01328 710193, www.granarytheatre.co.uk