Cian Kinsella, one half of the Lords of Strut acrobatic and comedic act, says he always wanted to be a rock star. While he never learned to play a musical instrument, he and his performing partner, Cormac Molhally, know how to work their agile bodies as instruments of movement with their dance routines, acrobatics and absurd comedy.”
And Kinsella, like Molhally, says he is fulfilled in his career. It involves lots of travel. The duo recently returned from an Australian tour having performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. They’ve also recently performed for a Saudi prince in Dubai, having been requested to do so by a production company working for the prince.
The Cork-based Lords of Strut will present their new show, Chaos, at the Half Moon Theatre from tonight until Sunday. It is directed by Pat Kiernan of Corcadorca. The Lords of Strut are best known for their street performances. (They won last year’s Street Performers World Championship, held in Cork.)
It's so close we can smell it. http://t.co/JNF164d1ob— Lords of Strut (@LordsofStrut) June 5, 2014
“Pat has been brilliant,” says Kinsella. “He has been helping us to work at something suitable for the stage. He identified what we’re good at and how to follow that through. Anyone who has seen our show knows about the fun of it but you also need depth for it to work on stage.”
Molhally says it has been really useful to have a third person involved. “We can be on the stage but can’t see what we look like. A few weeks ago in the UK we were working in a residency and spent the first two days on our own. Then a clown mentor came in and that made a big difference to what we were doing.
“We have to be able to trust a third person as the two of us are very clear about what our style is. The kind of comedy we’ve developed is very specific to us so any person we work with has to understand us.”
The new show is called ‘Chaos’ because it’s about two brothers who desperately want to be famous and will do anything to achieve that. This results in mayhem. “Part of their scheme to become famous is to be as nice as possible to the audience and help them live their dreams on stage,” says Kinsella. “So there’s people on stage and off stage, all involved in this show. You never know what’s going to happen next. It all builds towards a crescendo. The comic timing is obvious in every bit of the show. The characters are two brothers so there’s lots of sibling rivalry. They both have their ambitions in life but have great difficulty in achieving anything.”
Lords of Strut open on Weds, running til Sun.. Whoop! http://t.co/vCblAlSIc5— Cork Opera House (@CorkOperaHouse) June 16, 2014
Kinsella says the Lords of Strut are influenced by a lot of TV comedy such as Little Britain and Alan Partridge. “We’re also influenced by Will Ferrell movies and classic stuff like Peter Sellers and Laurel and Hardy.”
The Lords of Strut launched their act in 2008. Kinsella, who is from Carlow, travelled around the world working at everything from cooking to gardening. Cork-man, Molhally, learned to juggle as a teenager. In 1999, he attended circus school in Belfast. He performed a solo show before linking up with Kinsella, having met him at an acrobatics workshop in Cork. They realised that, not only were they able to execute the moves, but they also made everyone laugh.
They got project funding from the Arts Council and their first official gig was on the streets of Cork on St Patrick’s Day in 2008. If comedy is the new rock ‘n roll, then Kinsella has achieved his ambition.