Declan O’Sullivan aka Paddyman talks St Patrick’s Day in Dubai
The Irish singer also known as Paddyman talks St. Patrick’s Day in Dubai, his new found love of acting and making people laugh.
What gave you the inspiration to create Paddyman? Because people want to laugh. The Paddyman character came about so that I could be a little more cheeky at gigs. I started wearing a leprechaun hat and beard as a way to avoid intentionally insulting people, so they could clearly see the dodgy songs were meant as a joke. I started performing and adapting many of the naughty songs I’d grown up with in Ireland. Before long this became the most popular part of the live show.
How current do you try to keep your parodies? Every time I listen to the radio I laugh and imagine performing some alternative version of a song. I also try to keep them relevant to the audience at hand. For example, in the UAE, I have parodies of ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ (Sweet Home Al Sharjah), ‘Come on Eileen’ (Come on Al Ain) and others. I made funny videos to accompany my most popular parodies, Irish Paddy Style and Welcome to the Hotel Burj Khalifa.
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, where can we see you perform? I’ll be performing special gigs at Fibber Magee’s along with my friends and traditional Irish musicians, Boxty, on Thursday March 12. But Barasti is always a fun one. I perform there with traditional Irish musicians and Irish dancers on the evening of Friday March 13 and all day on Saturday March 14. I will be dressed as a leprechaun and riding a camel on the beach. I won’t be in Dubai on the day itself [Tuesday March 17] as I’ll be playing a special gig at Muddy Murphy’s Irish Pub in Singapore with champion Irish accordion player Declan Fahy.
Why did you decide to audition for the upcoming play at Ductac, The Cripple of Inishmaan? I’d seen and loved the previous three Irish plays that Danu Theatre had produced in Dubai. They were encouraging new actors to give it a go, so I decided to try. I was particularly interested in the part of Johnny Pateen, because his character – a funny storyteller – was something I could identify with through the Paddyman character I play for my music gigs. I was also interested because when the play ran on Broadway, Johnny Pateen’s role was played by Pat Shortt whom I admire greatly as a comedian.
What inspired you to start acting at the age of 38? When I was 15, I went to see an amateur play in my Dad’s home town in County Kerry. One of the lead roles was played by the local postman. I was amazed to hear that he had never acted before and he was probably around 40 years old at the time. He was confident and able to entertain his community, so I thought I’d love to do that too. For more information on Declan’s music gigs see www.paddyman.com.