EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL 2021
Come immerse yourself in the steamy hot waters of TEET as Paul Currie dissolves, froths and fizzes all around you. Scratching and burrowing into the cotton cuticles of human empathy in an attempt to expose how we are all still sucking and biting on the TEET of Mother Nature. An absurdist stand-up comedy show for fans of Andy Kaufman, Samuel Beckett and The Muppet Show.
Hi Paul, it's great to have the chance to talk with you again, how have you been keeping during these strange Covid times?
I’m really bad, and really good, feeling nauseous now after 18 months on the rollercoaster called “hypocrisy” I was keeping a pretty positive mental stance on it all up till about 4 months ago when comedy clubs & theatres and the arts here in NI anyway are still shut, as I write this in mid July, and yet cinemas and restaurants and pubs are rammed.
Since the start of lockdowns what has been the most surprising thing you've discovered about yourself?
I am super tolerant of jellyfish. I can identify the stingers, and non stingers as I’ve now been sea swimming every week since March 2020.
What have you missed most about performing in front of live audiences?
The sounds of mumbling pre show chatter, the clinking and shuffling of seats, of awkward silences in a room full of people and gun fire of laughter. I miss the smiles, I miss the eye contact, I miss seeing an entire face stretch and squirm and the elasticity of joy and confusion on them, and not just elevating eyebrows and squinting eye balls above a sweaty black hole mask that sucks in all the energy and matter in a room/the universe.
I noticed your new "Flower Heads" on Instagram what was the inspiration behind these and have you always had a passion for art?
My inspiration was lockdown ... I immersed myself fully into nature, big secluded walks, big secluded beach walks, smelling flowers more and more, stopping and smelling roses and lavender. I was forced into nature by all this and loved every second and like I forced the flowers deep into the soft foam heads I’d sculpted, and those flowers brought so much colour and depth and life to those dormant foam heads just how nature and the outdoors to flourish inside my brain during this madness.
What does it mean for you to be able to bring a new full show to Edinburgh Fringe?
It means EVERYTHING, my comedy is now my main art form, I still paint, still sculpt, I still make puppets and still write music, I love all that, but my main canvas and medium is comedy, the club is my canvas the audience my easel and palette and the material the colours, but none of it works till we’re all together.. otherwise I’m just mentally sketching ideas on napkins, it’s not until all the elements needed assemble that the real magic and alchemy can begin. It’s a symbiotic relationship, and it’s gotta be live, not on Zoom! but in a room! or outdoors on the street is good, but the real magic happens in the dark.
What is it about Edinburgh Fringe that is so special?
It’s the variety, the gargantuan variety of art, and creative energies and artistic electricity that descends and assembled in one city, and that city!! It’s an art installation in itself, it’s art, within art, surrounded by art, spewing out art and inspiring art !!! The lockdown has shown how little art is valued and this, is the start of an artistic liberal revolution. It’s on its way, artists are not gonna take it anymore.. and the ironic thing is, we are all artists, it’s our default setting, look at what we do as kids : sing, dance, laugh, clown, paint, act, mimic, make... we are all artists at our collective core and it’s integral to all society.
"I felt in my brain from laughing at comedians and actors and then wanting to give that back to others. Laughter is a whip, that when it cracks!"
Tell me a little bit about TEET, what can we expect?
TEET covers many things. It is a comedy show but breaks many rules. TEET for me is a visual and cerebral walk through an art exhibition that’s all contained on a comedy stage. TEET looks at the truly absurd concept that we are evolved. I use the analogy that we humans are still suckling on the breast of Mother Nature, that we’re still in the crèche of evolution.
Teet kicks a brick or 2 out of the patriarchal wall we’re surrounded in, TEET is a look at the nipple, TEET questions gender, TEET looks at the vile censorship that female nipples are banned from social media but men’s at not, TEET looks at breast feeding and our obsession with animals milk but our taboo on human breast feeding, TEET looks at the unknown reason behind Male nipples, and in the show I explain my theory on Male nipple, and it’s very very simple, yet very very revolutionary and important to regaining a balance to our society.
What was the inspiration behind this and how different was your approach to TEET compared to your previous Fringe shows?
TEET started with a germ, why do I, as a “Male” have nipples, and that branched off into many many many avenues and existential questions that all became ideas and skits and concepts I wove together in a long scarf, most of my shows are blankets ... this one is a scarf, a journey, a road.
Where did you passion for comedy come from?
It came very early on in my life, from the personal joy of laughing and the act of laughter, and the happy chemicals and joy I felt in my brain from laughing at comedians and actors and then wanting to give that back to others. Laughter is a whip, that when it cracks! In a split second pulls everyone in its grip together.
How important is it for you to continue to push the boundaries of your comedy?
It’s deeply important!! And it should be for everyone, every artist to push boundaries and not get comfortable, or else human society will just keep repeating itself.
Any advice you would offer any comedian making their Fringe debut this year?
Yes, have fun. Have so much fun, and bring that fun into the streets when your flyering, and if your not flyering and going to meet your audience then I’d rethink why your even at the fringe, because the fringe is about one thing, communication, and if you can’t communicate with your audience on the street with a flyer for your show in your hand, then your gonna struggle to connect with your audience in a dark room and a microphone in your hand. It’s about keeping it real, for me. Don’t hide behind over paid PR people, Agents, Producers! Get out there! You're the product, you're the talent, you have the power, take by the power of you as the artist and go fishing for your audience, don’t wait for them to be packaged and put on the shelf with a sell by date, go hunt them down. And they will love and connect with you even more, and you will love and connect with them even more. Unless you wanna be a shallow TV celebrity then, ignore all that.
And finally, what do you want your audiences to take away from TEET?