FOR two nights only, Cork comedian Tadhg Hickey’s acclaimed one-man show ‘In One Eye, Out The Other’ plays The Everyman this week.
Part autobiographical theatre and part stand-up comedy, the show is based on Hickey’s own experiences with alcoholism, and he describes it as “hopefully mostly funny”.
“It’s about this character called Feargal, who’s just basically a proxy for me except that although we’re both alcoholics, his story is much more dramatic,” Hickey tells The Echo.
Describing Feargal as “the guy you don’t want to get stuck talking to in town”, Hickey says the audience gets stuck with Feargal for 50 minutes and discovers the truth beneath his chipper veneer.
“There’s enormous hurt and pain there, but hopefully the play is mostly funny. It’s about him sharing his surreal stories of his best friends, who are ET, a cardboard cut-out of Sonia O’Sullivan, and a statue of St Anthony.
“As the play develops, he gets to a point where he can come to terms with stuff that has happened and there’s a reconciliation of sorts between himself and his mother, which is a key character moment for him.”
The McCurtain Villas native has been in recovery for seven years and he says the show is a cartoon version of his own experiences with alcoholism. He describes it as “mad, weird, and hopefully cathartic as well”, and he has been told by audiences that it is hilarious and often very moving.
After an MA in Drama at UCC, Hickey’s love of storytelling led him to a job with RTÉ Cork, working on a kids’ show called S@ttitude. A love of acting grew from there, but he didn’t move into comedy until he formed a sketch troupe called CCCahoots with Laura O’Mahony and Dominic McHale.
“We did a couple of series of an RTÉ sitcom called The School, and Cahoots finished up amicably and we all did our own thing, with me just powering on with the comedy.”
A Sinn Féin supporter, Hickey has joked that he would take Fine Gael’s money if they gave him a paying gig. He hasn’t had an offer yet, although he does have a Fine Gael patron on Patreon. He refuses to confirm whether it’s his somewhat unlikely friend, Dublin Rathdown TD Neale Richmond.
“Believe it or not, I’m a broad enough church, politically, although I do definitely get a slagging online for being a Shinner, but I think if your views align with some of Sinn Féin’s then you get put into a box,” he says.
“But, look, if Sinn Féin get into power and they don’t change the things that are dogging Ireland, I will be critical of them. I’m not a zombie Shinner fan.”
He says he’s looking forward to his two-night run in The Everyman this week.
“I’ve done four runs in Dublin, three-sell-out shows in Belfast and Derry, and ironically I’ve never done a run in Cork, so it’ll be very emotional for me to be in the most magnificent theatre in my hometown,” he says.
In One Eye, Out The Other plays The Everyman Thursday and Friday, June 2 and 3.
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