Review: Comedy Show Cullivan’s Travels journeys through history of Irish satire

Cullivan’s Travels is a comedy radio show that mimics the classic novel Gulliver’s Travels written by Jonathan Smith, which is a parody itself. One of Ireland’s most well known satirical comedians Paddy Cullivan and his guests take a journey through the history of Irish satire in this programme.

Image Credit: RTÉ Radio One/Twitter

Image Credit: RTÉ Radio One/Twitter

Audio clips of famous comedy sketches are played throughout the show that bring back hilarious memories. They touch on topics such as war, politics and social issues such as racism. After having a laugh from hearing the clips, the panel talk about what makes them funny and the difference between satire and comedy.

The show begins with a satirical song poking fun at the Irish political system, and that is a theme throughout. However, an interest in politics is not necessary to enjoy the show. Comedian, actress, writer and guest on the show Tara Flynn says that party politics doesn’t quite interest her.

Other guests on the show include Sean Hardie, ex BBC writer, director and producer most well-known for his work on Spitting Image and Not The Nine O’Clock News, which introduced Rowan Atkinson to the British and Irish public.

The final member of the cast is comedian John Colleary, who will be familiar to anyone who has seen a comedy show on RTÉ. He has written and starred in Irish Pictorial Weekly and The Savage Eye. And, of course, Paddy Cullivan himself features, who is a satirist, writer and actor on Callan’s Kicks and he is also one of the Camembert Quartet.

Each comedian brings their own experiences and stories to the show and it is interesting to see how they relate, especially considering some of them hadn’t met one another before the day of the show. John Colleary said it was a, “pleasure to meet Seán who I watched in Spitting Image as a 15 year old.”

The comedy recording took place in The Project Arts Centre as part of a new festival of Irish comedy, Comedy Showhouse. Cullivan’s Travels,along with other performances, will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 throughout 2016.

By Shane McGannon

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