At some point in the recent Irish past, accidentally or by fate, two comedy comets collided at a gig, & have been fused together since. Eddie Mullarkey and Mag’s McHugh have brought a show to Edinburgh called Black Sheep, which according to Eddie is all about bringing, ‘some levity to the mental health discussion, laughing at yourself is the best therapy as Freud said. Together the two of us are bringing two very different life stories, Mags is in her 50’s and grew up a devout catholic. I’m in my 20’s and grew up with porn on a mobile phone. Different realities. Different struggles, different anxieties.’ On top of this, they have also committed to a vision called Snack Chat – with a 10AM start – yes, that’s right 10 AM.
Breakfast with the Black Sheep can be found in one of the City Café vencubes, & begins with mistress cheeky-smiles herself, Mags, dishing out yum-yums & sausage rolls from Greggs down the flowery brooks of her generosity. Then came the comedy, & my first experience of the slick, fun to be around, tracksuit-topped blue-eyed bard of Tuatha de Danaan, Eddie Mullarkey is one of those comedians who you laugh, or at least grin inanely, at whatever he does. He’s the MC for three comedians – typical floor-spot fare – & each morning there will be a different line-up drawn from the increasingly narrowing pool of comedians willing to get up before mid-day. Apparently Mags sometimes MCs as well, so they’ll always keep mixing it up. For my own visit, a large group of teenage Italian English language students from Ferrara were in, which our three guest comedians handled to varying shades between competency & bewilderment – great fun to watch!
Snack Chat is an extremely informal session, whose most important and essential parts are its early start & relative sobriety of gusts & performers. Most people across the planet are buzzing with energy in the morning, & you can really feel that kinda freshness in the room. With the line-up changing each day, the quality will always be different, so I’m gonna mark the concept, which is at the end of the day – or rather the beginning – a proper tidy way to start the day. Its perfect for folk checking out of their digs & have a couple of hours to wait for their train.
Damian Beeson Bullen