Interview: Paul Currie, ‘The shows will, as always, be about joy!!’

One of the things we’ve learnt from this year’s Glastonbury Festival, and we’re not even there yet, is how much other performers love Paul Currie. Practically every other act we speak to recommends Currie as an act not to miss. Luckily for anyone heading to the festival, he’s playing seven times across the weekend which has a few benefits; 1) it means you have absolutely no excuse to miss him, and 2) if you love him as much as his fellow performers, you can see him more than once.

How do you describe Currie to someone who hasn’t experienced his show? It’s very hard. Billy Kidd described him as ‘one of the best alternative comedians/clowns/street performers that I have ever seen.’ Currie’s Twitter bio describes himself as; ‘Experimental Fusionist. Outsider Comedy Artist. Shaman Hallion. Avant Brut Clown. Absurdist Laughter Chef. Professional Dickhead. Chaos Witch.’ Pick that apart but we’d probably distil it down into ‘comedian and clownarchist’ if we had to apply a label, which it doesn’t feel fair to do.

We caught up with Currie to find out what it’s like to be back at the festival and, given he was so funny he almost blinded Abel from Kane & Abel, whether his show should come with a health warning.

Q&A with Paul Currie

How does it feel to be heading back to Worthy Farm for this year’s Glastonbury Festival?

With hand on heart..  It’s an honour!! To be booked to bring my weird comedy performance to THE biggest festival of music and circus and arts on the planet is just humbling, to perform for complete random strangers, it gives me faith and hope in the human animal … to play and clown for new humans I’ve never met and would never have met is a true life-affirming rush of love and community, to the core!!! 🩷🩷🩷🤘🤘🤘

What can you tell us about the shows you’ll be performing?

Pandas, Hands, Luck Dragons, Ducks, Audience participation on a mass scale.. The shows will, as always, be about joy!! Adults letting go… And having fun… the world is going to hell in a hand cart, and we NEED laughter (ie dopamine and serotonin) to help get us through. I would like to think my art and my comedy is like a screaming hysteric water slide ride of joy all the way back to your childhood… and the kids who watch love seeing an adult on stage being a f**Kin idiot… they love it. It’s comedy for ALL, any age.

Does playing to a festival audience change your approach to your performances?

Yes, I LOVE festival audiences especially outdoor festival audiences as they’re much less judgmental and more open to going with the weirder stuff I throw (literally) at them. Outdoor performances are in my opinion the best, and rawest form of comedy.. no walls, no ego borders, no class borders… no gender borders.. you’re in the open, vulnerable, everyone is, both performer and audience are exposed to all the elements, it’s comedy and art for EVERYONE!

Abel from Kane and Abel told us that he laughed so hard at your performance last year that he rubbed suncream into his eyes and couldn’t see for 3 hours. Have you considered adding a health warning to the show?

You see this is where I find my inspiration .. this year (I think it’s gonna be another scorcher at Glasto) ill try and get a mass sunscreen “creaming” of the entire crowd .. in a sort of biblical scale like the feeding of the 5,000, instead of two loads and 5 fishes we’ll have 2 parasols and 5 factors (20-50)  I’ll get the audience to sunscreen each other in a creamy herd of human cattle, ironically on a dairy farm!!!

Are there any other acts you’re looking forward to seeing while you’re at the festival?

Lizzo! The Mary Wallopers ! Sparks !  and Billy Nomates ! are top of my list!

Paul Currie is at Glastonbury Festival from Wednesday 21 June to Sunday 25 June. Full schedule here.