Conor O'Toole: The Funeral Of Conor O'Toole
So, this is your third year at the Fringe. I almost came to see you on your debut but couldn't make it. How was your debut? Anything go exceptionally well or any dreadful mistakes made?
My first show was on so early in the morning I almost missed it a few times. The best bit of Come Look At Me For An Hour involved me eating a bunch of cloves and wincing in pain. It all kind of petered out from there. Doing a show at 11.30am was a bit ridiculous. A lot of people showed up twelve hours late. It was a failure, but a totally essential one.
Last year was all about fonts. Why fonts?
Because they're everywhere and no one knows anything about them! Typography should be taught in schools. Everyone lays text with Word or whatever every day but without any know-how. They just use shitty defaults. That's why Arial, the worst font (and that's including Comic Sans), is the one you'll encounter most. It breaks my tiny typographic heart. I should mention, I recently had my heart replaced with a 'less than' symbol and a three.
Seeing as you're an expert, could you have a look at theskinny.co.uk and critique our fonts?
Avant Garde, as on the nameplate, has been very 'in' for the past few years, I don't use it very often. I think it's more style than substance, particularly its G and R. Neuzeit Grotesk as a headline type is stylistically very close, and better for text, but it isn't rendering that well on my PC. The site looks really nice, but I feel like a few serifs might make it a little less cold. I never said this would be interesting.
The Funeral Of Conor O'Toole is definitely a novel idea for a show. What was the initial thought that sent you in this direction (other than 'damn, I need a Fringe concept')?
It seems like my generation appear to have been written off already, because of debt and unemployment it's assumed we'll never amount to anything. So planning my funeral, to make it as cost effective as possible, seems like the only logical course of action. Sure, what else would I be doing with my time. Also, as I am a goth, I think about dying all the time. When I eat my breakfast, I don't see Weetabix, I see two grain-based sarcophagi.
How's the show going to work?
There's no set venue for the show, so instead I'll meet people at the Underbelly Box Office and lead them somewhere in a procession. The locations are all top secret right now I'm afraid, but I can tell you exclusively that there are some really exciting places. Although exciting by my standards may be less exciting than normal. I do get quite jumpy when I see a new kind of capital R. It opens with a song played on a spring.
How do you hope people will remember you after your demise?
An annual day of mourning would be nice. Maybe a few Easter Island style heads along the coast. Commemorative shot glasses.
It sounds like the show will involve moving around outside. First concern is: what if it rains?
There's no if about it, it will definitely rain. It says in the blurb, 'this show will be moving, so bring a jacket.' I'm sure it'll be okay.
Is this a site-specific work for Edinburgh or do you feel you could perform it anywhere?
It's just jokes told in a big row, it could work anywhere. I think Edinburgh is the best place for it though, the people are already braced for ridiculousness.
We've just published an interview with Jason Byrne where he describes Dublin comedy scene in 1996 as "like the Barcelona comedy team." How would you describe the 2012 Dublin scene?
Barcelona have a comedy team? Did he mean football team? I assume Barcelona have a good football team right?
I can't make a sports analogy. The 2012 scene is like... the team in Inception. All amazing at what we do, but nobody knows we're doing it. And there aren't many women.
And finally, who else are you going to see while you're here in Edinburgh?
Chris Kent, Ben Target, Bec Hill, John Conway and Jigsaw. All of them are fantastic.