CORK comedian Sinéad Quinlan is back for a second series of Seriously Sinéad after the huge success of the first season last year.
The 28-year-old from Carrignavar says it’s more than she could ever have hoped for and reveals she hopes to have her first solo show next year and also perform at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Sinéad burst on to the comedy scene two years ago and admits it’s been a ‘whirlwind’ ever since.
She has a BA in English and History; a Higher Diploma in Social Policy, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from UCC, but after graduating she was keen to give a few different things a whirl, before settling into what she thought would be a ‘regular’ job.
Stand-up comedy was one thing she wanted to try out, and after just a few gigs she entered a competition run by Ray D’Arcy called Stand Up and Be Funny. She won it, and part of the prize was to write a pilot for the RTÉ Player, which is how Seriously Sinéad came about in the first place.
But Sinéad says that never in a million years could she have predicted anything that’s come her way since.
“I’m such a go with the flow kind of human though and a big believer in giving everything a lash, no matter how intimidating it might be!”
In the new series, Sinéad ‘moves’ to the capital to pursue her career, and it’s all about facing the challenges of moving to Dublin, finding a place to live, and most importantly, finding out which of her new housemates is stealing her cereal!
In reality, she’s still living in her native Cork “eating battered sausage suppers in Jackie Lennox’s!”
Originally from Carrignavar, she’s living in the city with two friends: “We get on great and even survived the lockdowns together! I wouldn’t be against moving to Dublin though, I’m entering the lotto every week so fingers crossed I’ll win and be able to afford the move up soon,” she said.
Just like the first series, round two is also lip sync.
“So I’m telling a story through the medium of a diary and then it cuts to the scenes being acted out, but it’s my voice coming out of other people. This makes things funny in itself.
"It's quite surreal and has things like a Cork embassy, lots of animation, and talking animals, naturally.
“The storyline this time is that I’m moving up to the big smoke to make it in the big time as a stand up. I travel up on a push bike with a wheelie suitcase in one hand, so that gives you an insight into the kind of eejit I am. It’s not as easy as I hoped, I struggle to find a place to live, go on some disastrous dates, and end up getting a job in a very unexpected shop. I went in for some sausage rolls and ended up getting more than I bargained for. You’ll have to watch the series to find out where though!” she said.
Sinéad admits “ridiculous things happen” to her without her even trying, which provides a handy source of content.
“It’s easy to write comedy when your entire life is a joke!” she said.
It wasn’t like that obviously during our lockdowns.
“I definitely can’t complain as I was one of the few who had some working opportunities but I think creatively everyone was a bit stunted.
“It was hard to keep motivated when everything was so mundane. I know for myself I get my ideas from living my life and being out and about. In the lockdowns it was hard though as not a lot happens between the kitchen and living room.
“Posting on social media really took off during the pandemic and some incredible talent was discovered. The comedy scene in Ireland is really thriving, there’s so many hilarious humans on this island of ours.”
Right now her focus is entirely on stand up, and there’s lots in the pipeline.
“Things aren’t back open fully yet but I’m doing as many gigs as I possibly can in places like City Limits and The CoCo Club in Cork but I’m travelling all around Ireland.
“Galway Comedy Festival was on in October just gone and I travel to Dublin quite often as well. Myself and the people working on the tolls are great pals. That’s the reality of being a stand up though, it involves you spending a lot of time by yourself between writing the material, practicing it, and then in your car travelling to gigs. Enjoying your own company is fairly important.
“I’m absolutely buzzing stand up is back though and if I can get enough gigs under my belt, I hope to do my first ever solo show next year and possibly do Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which is a month long festival every August and a big part of the apprenticeship in honing your craft as a stand up. Sure, who knows, we could be all locked up in the gaff again in a minute so we’ll see what happens!”
Sinéad had another big success when she was the roving reporter on The Den when it was back on our screens last year. She admits she was gutted it didn’t get another run.
“I was so sad I went straight to the fridge and ate a handful of grated cheese. The Den was hands down the best experience of all time and I fear I may have peaked too soon. It was live TV which is very rare, no scripts, amazing guests and non-stop slagging and cracking jokes the entire hour with some very questionable dance moves by us all at the end.
“Of course I’m gutted it didn’t come back, I think it definitely deserved at least one more season but I’m very honoured to have been a part of it and I’ve made some amazing new alien and poultry friends.
“Ray has honestly been one of the most supportive people I’ve met in the showbiz world and he even made a special cameo appearance in my series. He’s very funny in it and had to pretend to try and dodge me in RTÉ. A role he played a little bit too well actually.”
Sinead says she has no idea where her career will take her next.
“And that’s exciting and terrifying but I’m just going to enjoy the journey. All I know for sure is that my Cork jersey will always be with me. It might not be always on me but it will definitely be in the suitcase.”
And in a coy parting quip, she adds: “I may or may not be appearing on people’s TVs again before the year is over, ye’ll have to keep an eye out!”
The second series of Seriously Sinead is on on RTÉ Player now.