Cripple of Inishmaan Star Pat Shortt on the Power of Gossip, Craic & Irish Guilt
May 29th, 2014
by Josh Ferri
Beloved Irish comedian Pat Shortt makes an outstanding Broadway debut as town gossip Johnnypateenmike in the Tony-nominated revival of Martin McDonagh's riotous comedy The Cripple of Inishmaan. BroadwayBox did our best to pry some secrets from Shortt's lips about the cast's time in London, the power of Irish guilt and the healing powers of Craic.
1. Coolest thing to ever happen in my hometown:
My home town is Thurles in the county of Tipperary . It was where the national games were founded called the GAA back in 1884. As a result of this, there is a stadium in the town called Semple stadium. The coolest thing to happen in the town was when a rock festival called Feile (Festival in English), was held in the stadium for four summers consecutively. Each summer the town would be overrun with revelers and stage crews for weeks. A festival village would be erected on the outskirts of the town and fields of tents larger than the town itself grew out of nowhere. It was amazing. Bands like the Cranberries, Oasis and the Stone Roses played. I also managed to get on the stage to perform a comedy sketch for a TV show filmed in front of between twenty five and thirty thousand music fans. It was outrageous.
2. The three publications/websites I get most of my news from:
I always look at The NY Times when in New York, I think it has great coverage of world news and also The Irish Times when I am at home or abroad to keep in touch with what is happening at home, and then for a laugh there is a web site called Waterford Whispers, which has a laugh at local and International events. That is hilarious.
3. My favorite guilty pleasure news source:
I don’t really have a guilty pleasure, It’s my Catholic up bringing; I stand in the newsagents and read the front page, and really want to flick the pages and read the juicy stories wishing I had the courage to pick one up, knowing that if I did my next door neighbor from home would walk in and catch me, even in New York. It’s an Irish thing. So I suppose I do have a guilty pleasure, see I am denying it to myself at the top of the question. I am even guilty answering the question. That is proper Irish Catholic guilt.
4. Who are better business owners: the Osbourne sisters or the Larkin brothers from D’Telly?
Certainly the Osbournes, they at least stock peas. The Larkin brothers that I played in D’Telly used to only sit around and watch their favorite programme on the TV. That said I never see the old ladies take money from Bartley or Johnnypateenmike and Eileen is always eating the Yalla Malla’s. It’s a tough question.
5. Are you good with a secret, or is the urge to share too great?
I can never keep a secret, a good story deserves to be told and even embellished, In that sense I am a little like my character Johnnypateenmike.
6. What story from the Cripple cast’s time in the West End would Johnnypateenmike love to get a hold of?
I am not sure, there was so many, and yes, while I said I cannot keep a secret, I am select as to who I will tell and some things should never be printed. I suppose the night that Stephen Fry joined us for a pub quiz against the cast from the Wyndham Theatre next door to the Noel Coward Theatre which we were in. WE thought that with Stephen Fry on our team we were a dead cert. Well, we lost and were in shock after.
7. The one thing New Yorkers can learn from the Irish?
I am not sure if the New Yorkers could learn anything from the Irish or would want to. They seem to know everything already. If there is one thing that the Irish can be good at, that is not taking yourself too serious. Have what we call The Craic. That is pronounced Crack but its not a drug it’s having fun.
Don’t miss Pat Shortt hilarious and wonderful performance as Johnnypateenmike in the Tony-nominated revival of ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ at the Cort Theatre.