Comedian Emma Doran on her upcoming tour and RTÉ sketch show No Worries If Not! – Buzz.ie
Irish comedy star spoke to Buzz about Galway Comedy Festival, her upcoming solo shows and feeling like the ‘auld wan’ on new RTÉ sketch show No Worries If Not!
Get the latest news from Buzz Culture straight to your inbox
We have more newsletters
Dublin stand-up Emma Doran has been on the comedy scene for almost a decade, but during lockdowns she gained a whole legion of new fans, thanks to her relatable online sketches.
We spoke to her about playing Galway Comedy Festival next month, her upcoming solo shows and feeling like the 'auld wan' on new RTÉ sketch show No Worries If Not!
So you're at the launch of Galway Comedy Festival this week. Is that one you're particularly looking forward to?
I've been to Galway now [to gig] a good few times over the years. And Galway is brilliant to gig at. There's a different vibe, do you know what I mean? I mean, there's kind of a bit of a wacky atmosphere… But they're really into the arts and comedy and stuff, and going out. So I've always loved gigging there.
I imagine you'll have lots of new people there because – and correct me if I'm wrong – aren't you one of the comedians that gained a lot of followers during the pandemic?
Yeah, I definitely got new people on board during lockdown because I was making sketches and stuff. And people were saying, 'Oh, you know, thanks so much. It's so great to have funny videos.'
I was like, 'Ah here. I'm doing it for myself!' I entertained myself because I had no gigs. I was like, 'This is totally selfish on my part.'
But it's nice now, because a couple of times at gigs I've met people where the older sister follows me on Instagram and the younger sister follows me on TikTok or something.
I imagine your daughter keeps you informed as well?! You've a grown-up teenager now and you have a podcast together, isn't that right?
We call it a podcast, but… the main function of it is me just trying to get gossip out of my 19-year-old daughter. Just trying to see what she'll tell me!
Because people do act differently when they have a mic in front of them. You know, you do feel like you have to fill the space and say something. So that's basically what it is. We do it in the kitchen.
And then my lovely partner, Shane, he puts it up for me. Because I have no tech ability at all. So it's really a family affair.
She has two younger brothers now, who are nine and seven. We'll say to them: 'Now, don't be coming down to be getting snacks. Me and Ella are recording the podcast!'
We both just agreed it's nice to have something that's our own little thing.
So I enjoy it yeah, but I do try and get the goss out of her, you know?!
That's gas because I never would've thought that was one of your motivations.
I want to get information. And do you know what, she's so sensible. Like, she got full marks in her Leaving. I didn't even know it went over 600.
Yeah, it goes over 600 points if you get a H1 in honours maths and stuff. So she got 635.
I mean, me and Shane added together I don't think we would've even still got 635. She doesn't drink, she's very responsible. So yeah. People have said before there's a bit of an Ab Fab vibe going on.
I actually try and get the boldness out of her a bit, do you know what I mean?! She knows she can be bold around me, it's fine. Cause she's really sensible.
Exactly, you're not worried about her. It doesn't sound like you've any reason to be worried there. That's great.
No. I'll get her driving now and she'll be my desi, please God.
That sounds ideal. So you've also got solo shows coming up at Liberty Hall. Is that another big one for you?
Yeah, I'm really looking forward to that. It's the biggest solo show I've done. I felt like everyone was kind of holding off, you know, to see what was the craic with Covid.
So I feel happy enough now to go ahead. The two Liberty Halls are sold out, which I'm delighted about.
Because you know the way you need an organiser in the WhatsApp group. And it's not me. So thank you to all the organisers.
We're going to do a tour then in the New Year. Just finalising dates on that. So we'll have a laugh at Liberty Hall, do Christmas and then off on tour, hopefully.
Obviously you're on the new RTÉ comedy programme No Worries If Not! as well. How did that come about and what's that been like?!
The director, James Cotter, got in touch with us all around maybe January or February. And said that he was putting this together. So I was kind of shocked, to be honest, because I hadn't heard anything about a sketch show on RTÉ in a long time.
I was like, 'Yeah, you serious?!' In March, the five of us met up in a hotel room for a few days, with no windows, no ventilation. And we just wrote. Which was actually really fun.
Because by that time, I had met everyone and done different things with them. So it just felt really comfortable. And then we started filming in May. The first episode came out on Thursday. There's six of them.
I'm looking forward to seeing the next one because there's a character that I've done online, Trish, who I've kind of turned into 3D form. I'm dying to see what people think of her. But there's loads.
Obviously, there was something else that kind of stole the limelight. So hopefully that won't happen this week!
Did the queen die the day the first episode came out?
Yeah, the very first episode. So I think there was a little bit of a question in RTÉ, like: 'There's no sketches involving the queen, is there?!' And we were like, 'No, there's no sketches involving the queen!' So thankfully it went ahead.
How did they go about choosing who would be in it? Was having a big online following an important part of it, do you think?
I think it was just that all of us have been putting out our own content online. Putting it out there for other people to see.
Now, full disclosure: I was like, hang on a second. There's a lot of people in their peak here. Could we not give Twink a shout, so I don't look like the bleedin' aul wan here?!
100 per cent.
I was like, 'Ring Twink.' (laughs)
But there's loads of people in it. There's Anna Clifford who's a stand-up. Like, wouldn't really be known for sketch comedy or Instagram, or whatever like that.
So there's loads of other comedy people involved that mightn't necessarily be Instagram content people.
Like, we were just lucky to get the shout.
But yeah, there's actually loads of people in it from comedy. I dunno how the director went about it. But I'd say the fact that we were making stuff online didn't hinder our chances of getting on the show.
And then you were all collaborating together, or how did it work?
Yeah. So we were all together, and then we were kind of doing our own stuff, maybe separately. And then we had writers on the show.
Amy O'Connor, probably a lot of people will know from Twitter, and then Demian Fox. So they were writing stuff as well.
You could send a script to them and say, 'Is this any good or is it shite?!' You know, that kind of thing. Because obviously doing a sketch for social media is different to doing a sketch for TV.
It was all pretty much collaborative. For the first day, we just had a whiteboard. And we were just throwing up ideas on that really.
I've interviewed some of the cast before. Everyone seems really nice and fun. I'm sure they were all great to work with?!
Yeah. In stand-up, it's very much like a solo thing. You know, you get up on stage on your own, and when you're done, you're gone home, you're in the car, driving back to wherever you're going.
This was definitely more collaborative. So I'm definitely… like, if you had to pick one, I'm deffo the bitch out of the group. All the rest of them are too nice for their own good! No one's gonna say, 'Oh Emma's too nice.'
But there's no character in there where you'd just be like, 'Oh that's the big like…' You know.
No, I have to say they're all really nice. There's no Geri Halliwell of the group.
Emma Doran plays the Galway Comedy Festival (25 to 31 October) on Thursday, 27 October
READ NEXT – Scottish comedian Daniel Sloss on his new tour, Irish humour and Dave Chappelle
READ NEXT – WAKE review: A joyful celebration of life emerges from the ashes of a pandemic
READ NEXT – Best live theatre shows in Dublin, Cork and across Ireland this autumn