British comedian, performer and writer Jonny Donahoe is returning to the maltings with his one man show; Forgiveness. We caught up with him ahead of time to find out more about the beautiful story behind the show.
Forgiveness is your first new one-person theatrical show in 5 years. How are you feeling about your upcoming solo tour?
I'm very excited and a little scared. It's my most personal show ever. I talk, in this show, about becoming a Dad and my own childhood, which leaves me quite vulnerable but it's a story I felt I really had to tell…
I think this show is really about why we tell stories, why we want to become parents, and how we love our children so absolutely and totally, without condition. Having not had the best childhood, there's some hard stuff for me to share, but mostly it's a funny show that's uplifting and joyful and has a very happy ending. So that helps me tell it.
The show is a true story and explores issues and experiences that you have lived through. Do your personal experiences make this piece easier or more difficult to perform?
Well, I don't have to get into character for this one: I'm being me and I'm being totally honest. That saves some preparation time! But as I said above, it also makes you very vulnerable, but I guess that's true of most of the shows and pieces of art I love so I'm happy to do it.
What is the message you would like audiences to understand or leave with?
The more we tell our own stories, the more we talk and share, and are honest with each other about our own selves, our experiences and our trauma, the easier it is to live and thrive.
It's hard but it's the best thing you can do. We've all just been through something very traumatic (the pandemic). We must talk about it, share it with each other, understand it if we want to move on and be the best we can be.
If that sounds a bit heavy - I think the best way to do these things is with laughter and joy, which is why I write funny shows. This show has a serious topic, but hopefully you'll laugh out loud many, many times and only cry once. That's a good ratio.
What’s your favourite part of the show to perform?
The ending. I still find getting to the joyful end of this true story extremely cathartic and moving. I hope you do too!
You’ve previously visited the Maltings as part of comedy act Jonny and The Baptists. Is there a new show in the pipeline?
Well, we've got to finish the last tour first! We made it to Farnham and had a great show in 2021, but unfortunately we lost a lot of the dates for covid reasons, so we'll be touring that show (Dance Like It Never Happened) about 40 more times from April to August. Come and see it again!
I reckon we'll do a new show in 2023 too. In the meantime buy the new album from jonnyandthebaptists.bandcamp.com
(sorry for the shameless plug).
Book tickets for Jonny Donahoe: Forgiveness on Tue 08 February 2022 at 8pm, here.