The Comedy Cartel
The Comedy Cartel was formed last summer, with the heroic ambition of bringing the best in Waterford comedy to local and national audiences. Based at Philly Grimes in Johnstown every second Thursday, the group features the fresh original material, character comedy and sketches of Waterford’s young and ‘youngish’ comedians, including Dermott Sullivan, Alan Conners, Konor Halpin, Tony Black, Sean Murphy, Andy O’Regan and Kieran “Ruffles” Walsh.
Konor Halpin began the Noc Noc Comedy Club in June 2014, hoping to bring like- minded comedians together and discovering new, young comedians in the area. In just a few months, a thriving troupe of comedians has been formed under the banner of Comedy Cartel and they play Philly Grimes in Johnstown on the second Thursday of every month.
“Waterford has wonderful comedy traditions and there is now a great line up of new stand-up comedians coming on stream”, Konor began. “Nothing is safe from the Comedy Cartel, from Kieran Ruffles Walsh with his brilliant riffs on tv advertising, the wonderful junior hurling stories of Dermott Sullivan, Alan Connors’ funny take on religion, Sean Murphy’s fantastical childhood swimming lessons and getting into discos with Andy O’Regan. It’s great to get in this ‘young blood’ and I would urge any aspiring comedians out there interested in giving it a go to get in touch, we’re always open to new members.”
Konor Halpin has been entertaining in one guise or another for over 30 years and has performed on stages all over the country with Tops of The Town, Kamikazee Karaoke and his own one-man comedy shows. He is a regular on RTE Radio 1’s Funny Friday and was one of the main actors in The Hurler by Tony Kelly, which has secured three nominations at festivals in San Francisco, Rome and New York.He describes his comedy as a ‘mix of stand-up and character comedy with highlights including Sergei from Bulgovania, GAA Taliban Bill Byrne and the outrageous Mascara O’Hara.
“I do a great Enda Kenny who starred recently on screen in Garter Lane with the Bilberry Goats Comedy Troupe. Parody songs are another of my loves and I recently began Poet Lairgette, where I write and perform poetic eulogies on any subject, like ‘There’s Something In Me Waters’, a satirical poem on Irish Water that was a huge hit at Booze, Blaas and Banter during the recent Image Festival.”
Sean Murphy describes himself as a ‘young hungry Waterford comedian who has taken to the art of comedy like a duck to Peking sauce’. In the last year, Sean decided to chase his dream of becoming a professional comedian and has followed this up, he says, ‘by starting on the hard miles he will have to travel to gain that status. Aside form his Comedy Cartel shows, Sean is also involved with setting up gigs at Central Arts.
“I’ve also has toured nationally and with dates filling up on my calendar I’ve decided to buy one.”
On his travels, Sean has stormed the stage in Dublin and Galway and now has other major cities in his sights with upcoming dates in Limerick, Cork, as well as a return to the capital and the west.
“My observations of Irish society, my own personal perception and misadventures in everyday life are some of the things I explore on stage. I think my style was best summed-up by my long-time friend and fellow comedian Kieran ‘Ruffles’ Walsh ‘It’s just you with a microphone really, isn’t it?’.”
WIT agriculture student Andrew O’Regan was born and reared just outside Tramore and went to secondary school in Carlow as a boarder.
“It was there I met a group of guys who made short films as a pastime and joined their group. I was MC for a film premier called Ceol in June of 2013 at the Eigse Carlow arts festival, which I co-wrote and I just got the buzz of being up on stage in front of a large crowd. A year or so later I decided I wanted to be on stage in front of an audience more often and from that got in contact with the Cartel and have been doing gigs with them since November.”
Alan Connors is a 23-year-old full-time Social Studies student from Waterford city. When not busy trying to figure out what is wrong with the world, he is looking on the lighter side of things and making fun of it, he says.
“My performances include a take on current affairs, my insight into the Irish psyche and impressions of stars like Morgan Freeman, Hozier, Steven Gerrard and even the man of the hour, Conor McGregor. I promise an eclectic offering of satire, surrealism and spontaneity!”
Originally from Leamy Street, ‘top of town and Mount Sion boy’ Kieran ‘Ruffles’ Walsh has written freelance journalism articles and hosted and produced his own radio station for two years in the Hudson valley region of New York. He’s now a full time cobbler, who took to the stage as part of the Comedy Cartel around October and instantly fell in love with performing.
“After doing gigs in Revolution and Phil Grimes’, I took my comedy on the road, performing in Kilkenny and Galway. I was inspired at a young age by the comedic stylings of Mitch Hedberg and Lee Evans. My number one goal at the moment is to climb the comedic ladder, make people laugh and more importantly, for someone to look at me and say ‘I want to do what he’s doing!’”
Kilmeaden native Dermott Sullivan started his stage career with the Edmund Rice Coral And Musical Society.
“I first did Me and My Girl in 2003 as Bob Barking and after many years in musical theatre, a murder mystery night in aid of the Carers Association re ignited my love of acting. So I joined the Ranting Rebels for their 2013 production of Steel Magnolias and in 2014 I played the part of Laurence Reilly Senior in Waterford Dramatic Society’s production of Magic Moments.”
Veteran performer Tony Black is magician and ventriloquist whose little companion, Nurse Sonia, is always a big hit. Tony has toured all over Europe and is just back from a month in Lapland. Four times Irish magic champion, he promises to conjure up the laughs with the Comedy Cartel.
Finally Billy O’Connor is an honorary member of the Comedy Cartel. The fifth year student in De La Salle College films all the Cartel’s gigs for their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ComedyCartelWat.
“I’ve been helping Konor for the last two years, taking photos and filming shows that he has produced. I’ve studied film with Waterford Youth Arts since I was thirteen and my hope is to pursue a career in cinematography.”
The Comedy Cartel guarantee a great night out at their gigs: “Support your local arts scene and experience a different night out”, Konor says. “And most importantly, have a good laugh. Get there early and often.”
• Don’t miss the Comedy Cartel at Phil Grimes, Johnstown Waterford on Thursday, 12th February and every second Thursday thereafter. Doors at 8pm and admission is € 7. If you would like to perform with Comedy Cartel tel. 087 2225225.
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