AHEAD OF their Absolute Legends gig at the Vodafone Comedy Carnival in Galway, Cormac Mohally, one half of comedic duo Lords of Strut, spoke to the Galway Advertiser about how he and Cian Kinsella are saving dance, their time on Britain's Got Talent, and Simon Cowell.
"Oh yeah we are saving dance," laughs Cormac Mohally. The Cork native along with dance partner Cian Kinsella lit up TV screens across Britain and Ireland at the start of the summer as Famous Seamus and SeanTastic with their dizzying acrobatics, banging moves, and riotous comedy on Britain's Got Talent. And the pair are coming to Galway to perform what Mohally believes is their best show to date.
"It is a show for everybody," he enthuses. "We made the show with ThisIsPopBaby and I believe it is our best show to date. It is a show that hits on many levels. It is primarily a children's show because we want to make sure it is viewable for everyone to enjoy.
"But there will be loads of jokes for adults thrown in as well. In our shows now we have disguised the adult jokes a little bit more so they are subtle enough that the grown-ups will notice them but they will go over the children's heads. One of my lines would be 'I have been procrastinating and children if you don't know what that means, ask your dad about his career?' So little lines like that."
The pair's dance fantasy adventure gained national exposure when they participated on the talent contest Britain's Got Talent earlier this year. However Mohally admits both Cian and he had doubts about going on the show.
"These kind of shows would not be our scene usually. We had been contacted by people before saying that they liked our show and website but we rebuffed any advances. But last year we were doing a cabaret in London and it was a higher up producer that contacted us and we were able to have a chat about it and what sold it to us was that we could do it in character.
"So it was not Cian and Cormac, but performing in character which definitely interested us. It meant we could creatively figure out what we would say. When we fortunately qualified for the semifinal, we could then explore a whole back story for Seamus and Sean as two brothers from Cork who worked in their Uncle Tony's bistro. Creatively, BGT was stimulating."
Mohally and Kinsella's performances were so well received on the show that Britain's Got Talent boss Simon Cowell went from buzzing the pair out early in the audition calling them "stupidly good" in the semifinal. The blunt Brit's drastic change in opinion of Lords of Strut is something of which Mohally is proud. "Yeah we joked about it. Simon Cowell was like the dad we never had. I think the fact he did not like us in the first round went in our favour because he is the baddie of the pantomime and everyone was rooting for us from then on."
Lords of Strut formed in 2009 after Mohally met Kinsella the previous year. "We met at a circus meet-up night in Cork and we decided to do some stuff together," says Mohally. "He was very funny and I had some experience in street theatre, and I asked him if he would like to make a show together, so we made a show for the street and that is the show that has brought us all around the world performing. We have made family shows for indoors but essentially it was our street show that gave us the break."
By 2013 the duo's aptitude for street performance led them to become world champions in the discipline. "We had already done some of the biggest busking festivals in the world in Christchurch, in Canada, in the UK, so we had our patterns down," he says. "We knew how to work a crowd, our show was humming." Even though they had a world championship success secured, Mohally believes Lords of Strut's act has gone on to another level due to the amount of time the pair have spent on stage together as well as the collaboration with production company ThisIsPopBaby.
"If I look at videos back then, we were all right and people enjoyed the show. It was not like we were terrible, but as the more stages we were on and the more time we had on stage together, our double act has grown stronger and stronger and that is why I think a lot of people will say why our dynamic that we have on stage really shines out. Even though it was acrobatics and dancing at a low level, we still turned it into a show, and as time went on our tricks and acrobatics and moves got better, it was still all about the show. We want to make people laugh but make it an event for people as well.
"ThisIsPopBaby has brought the show to another level because they have really assisted us on the overall look of the show. So when people walk through the doors, we are asking ourselves questions, 'What does the stage look like?' 'What pre-show music do we have on?' ThisIsPopBaby is making sure all of those aspects are being hit at a really high standard."
Looking towards the future Lords of Strut are very much focused on improving their stage performances and widening their range on what they can offer an audience. But Mohally reveals the pair would be interested in delving into the world of TV.
"We would be interested in making TV. I have definitely thought about movies and it would be great if we could find the funding. Can you picture Lords of Strut going on a road trip?"
And if the duo ever get fed up of the glamorous lifestyle of Famous Seamus and SeanTastic there is always Uncle Tony's bistro to fall back. "Yeah there is Uncle Tony's," he laughs. "But look we are in the arts and we love it. I have not had a job in God knows how long. I do not think I am qualified for anything else."
The Lords of Strut appear with David O'Doherty, Kevin Bridges, Joe Rooney, and Barry Murphy in the Spiegeltent, Eyre Square, on Saturday October 28 at 7pm; they present their own show Absolute Legends on Sunday 29 at 3.30pm, also in the Spiegeltent; and support Kevin Bridges in the Black Box on the Sunday at 8pm. For tickets see www.vodafonecomedycarnival.com