The king of deadpan comedy makes a welcome return to the Lisburn stage

The king of deadpan comedy, Kevin McAleer, known to many as Derry Girls’ Uncle Colm, will be returning to the Lisburn stage with his new stand up show at the Island Hall on Friday November 18.

From a young age, Kevin loved to make people laugh and his first audiences were his classmates, although he admits he was careful to pick and choose which teachers became the butt of his jokes.

"I didn’t really have an ambition to be a comedian but I was a class clown in selective circumstances,” admitted Kevin. “I chose my teachers very carefully otherwise they would have ended my career before it begun.”

When he hit his 20s a random decision to attend an open mic night in a local bar saw Kevin take to the stage for the first time, and thanks to some words of encouragement from a fellow performer, he decided to hone his skills and develop his craft.

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    Kevin McAleer is looking forward to returning to the Lisburn stage

    “It is something I drifted into,” he continued. “It took me a while to pluck up the courage to do it and I didn’t have a lot of material but it was enough to inspire me to put some work into the material and build it up from there.”

    His big break came when he starred in RTE’s Nighthawks, a character which Kevin admits himself isn’t too far removed from Uncle Colm in Derry Girls, which has brought him to a whole new audience.

    “Uncle Colm is definitely related to the character in Nighthawks, who was a very slow, long-winded storyteller,” recalled Kevin.

    When covid swept the country and lockdown was enforced, Kevin had to cancel many live shows and for a split second he wondered if maybe his career had come to an end. But his fans will be glad to hear that retirement is definitely not on his mind anymore, and with a welcome boost from the third series of Derry Girls and his now infamous interaction on screen with Liam Neeson, Kevin has found the spark has returned to his stand up shows.

    Comedian Kevin McAleer is bringing his new show to Lisburn's Island Hall on November 18

    "Getting the spark back for the live stuff coincided with the third series of Derry Girls coming out,” Kevin continued. “It was a perfect springboard and it has been great for me in terms of ticket sales.

    "Derry Girls is really a fantastic piece of work on every level and it has been a joy to be involved. It’s unusual for me to be working as part of a team and I have great admiration for everyone involved.

    In his new show, ‘Why Am I Here?’, the comedian has dropped the personas he usually brings to the stage and is finally finding his own voice.

    “I am looking forward to returning to Lisburn,” Kevin added. “I have played the Studio before but this will be the first time in the Island Hall. It is also my last show of the year so it will have an extra special edge to it.”

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    With plans for a Christmas break and thoughts of penning a book, Kevin is also hoping to take to the road again next year for more live shows so one thing is certain, he is certainly not planning on slowing down anytime soon.

    Tickets for the Lisburn show are on sale now online at www.islandartscentre.com.