Fringe Q&A: Patrick Monahan

Smart and funny observations on a new-found, middle-class lifestyle with ski holidays, through the prism of poor, immigrant, living-in-a-caravan roots. As seen on The One Show (BBC), Fake Reaction (ITV), Celebrity Squares (ITV).

AAA caught up with Patrick for a chat…

This isn’t your first time at the Fringe…

No, I’ve been coming to the festival for every year since 2003, but every year feels like the first time because I always write a brand new hour of stand up and try to test and reinvent the ways I structure and perform my shows. Some years, there was a lot of banter and crowd work, some years there was lots of music. This year’s show is all just full of personal stories and comedy routines about my poor immigrant upbringing.

Tell us a bit about the show you’re in this year?

Every year I try to let the audience in on my life, on what I’ve been up to now and observed in life, with little flash backs to my Iranian-Irish upbringing. This year it’s much more personal, talking about when we came from Iran to the UK in 1980 with no money and lived in a caravan in my teenage years to today, living with my middle class girlfriend in a house in Chiswick in West London.

Were you nervous ahead of your opening night?

Luckily this is my 16th Edinburgh festival so you don’t get as nervous any more. The first time I did an hour show in Edinburgh I panicked thinking ‘what happens if after 20 minutes the audience realise there’s no one else coming on stage, its just me… will they leave before the show has finished?” Luckily, nowadays, I don’t worry about that cos I padlock the doors shut and pretend to the audience if you stay for the full hour you will win a house in Stockbridge.

There’s thousands of shows on – why should Fringe-goers fork out to see yours?

I wish no one had to fork out anything to see any show, and they could come and see all the shows that are on at the Fringe. All performers spend all year getting ready to come up to Edinburgh for the month – it’s a shame if you miss any of the shows. It would be lovely if the council along with some billionaires would sponsor and fund the Fringe so that all the shows would be paid for and we wouldn’t have to charge anyone to see them. What a beautiful world that would be.

Are there any other shows on this year you’d recommend?

All of them. Why go to an all you can eat buffet and just eat the same old stuff that you can make or eat at home. Try everything, cos you may like it.

What’s on your hit-list to see?

I always love going to see international artists who are only in the UK once fro the Fringe, cos you know you’ll never get to see them again outside of the festival.

What are you planning to do on your days off?

Take my girlfriend and our eight-month-old maltipooh puppy for a walk, as far out of the city centre of Edinburgh that its little legs can take us – maybe up to Arthur’s seat or to Portobello seaside.

Sell your show in no more than ten words….

Brutally honest, but very funny poor Iranian Irish immigrant story.

Patrick Monahan’s new stand up show ‘Started From The Bottom, Now I’m Here’ will be at the Gilded Balloon Nightclub at 8pm from 31st July – 25th August. For tickets go to

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