WRITER/PERFORMER Peadar De Burca returns to the Town Hall next week with the final episode of his hit comic trilogy dissecting the male psyche and its desires. Having already regaled audiences with his comic explorations of What Men Want and Why Men Cheat he now spills the beans on Why Men Marry. And as it transpires, De Burca is singularly well placed to discuss the topic because he married his Polish girlfriend Wanda just a couple of weeks ago. Indeed the material in the show largely charts his own odyssey toward that fateful phrase ‘I do’. “With the other shows I was interviewing other men about what they wanted and why they cheated, etc, but this one is much more about my own personal experiences,” he discloses over an afternoon coffee. “A friend came to see one of the other shows and they observed afterwards that whenever I was talking about my own experiences rather than those of people I’d interviewed it seemed to come more from the heart and consequently worked better. So I took that on board and this show is about my own marriage experiences and my wedding and my ideas about it all. Of course you’re still taking into account the people around you, your mother, your bride, her family and they’re all included in the story too.”
So how did De Burca meet his new bride? “Wanda came here to work for the summer two years ago and got a job doing box office for the Music at the Crossroads traditional music show which I was directing,” he explains. “After a couple of weeks I asked her if she had toured the west and she said no but she’d like someone to show her around so I took that as an invitation to be her guide and we cycled to Spiddal one day, it all started from there!”
What might have been a fleeting holiday romance grew into something more meaningful as the couple went on to winter together in Poland and spend the summer in Ireland. Why Men Marry reveals how a bike ride to Spiddal ultimately led to a walk down the aisle;
“In the show I set out to find out why I wanted to marry this person; what was the difference between her and other people that five years ago or 10 years ago I thought I was in love with. For me it’s a huge life commitment and I’m taking it very seriously. Funnily enough, a few years ago I wouldn’t have seen myself getting married at all, I regarded it as out of date, and unnecessary. I was an only child as well so in a way there is an innate selfishness there and you kind of have to force yourself into thinking about someone else, it’s a strange thing. Wanda – who’s a doctor- and I were going back and forth between Poland and Ireland and I just felt I had to make it more solid –before she walked into a hospital and met Doctor Handsome! And I wanted her family to feel more secure about the relationship too, to show them I was serious about it all.”
De Burca distils these experiences and reflections into an engaging comic narrative and Why Men Marry should cap the success he has alread enjoyed with the two previous instalments in the trilogy. After the show’s Galway run, De Burca is bringing it to Edinburgh for his debut appearance at the Fringe. “I didn’t feel ready to go to Edinburgh before but I feel this show is strong enough,” he explains. “And I’ve come on as a performer too I think. I remember I died my death in Thurles one night where I got 90 minutes of nothing but I kept working at the act until I got 90 minutes of laughs. Now I’m confident enough to go to Edinburgh. I’m playing at the Radisson on The Mile - Ricky Gervais is in the venue next door to me, but he’s in a 1,000 seater I am in a 50 seater!”
De Burca divulges some of the scary economics that goes with the kudos of a Fringe slot; “The average audience for a Fringe show is just six, and the average spend for a solo show is £8,000; but on the other hand just from being in the programme with a show that has a catchy title I’ve already got a booking for three weeks at a theatre in Islington and another week in Temple Bar so the Fringe can reward you in ways like that.”
Doubtless Why Men Marry will reward its Galway audience with plenty of laughs and insights into males and matrimony. It’s at the Town Hall studio from Monday, August 17 to Friday, August 21 at 8.30pm. Tickets are €10.