Jonny Donahoe: The playwright Duncan Macmillan asked me if I’d be interested in working on a little project, making something very funny and uplifting about severe depression. He’d written a short story called ‘Sleeve Notes’ about eight years earlier, (about a little boy who makes a list of everything brilliant about the world for his suicidal mother), and asked me to join him on the work turning it into a full-length stage show. I think we both thought it would be about two weeks work. Two years later, we’re still running it!
Corine Cohen: What makes this show unique?
Jonny Donahoe: The show is about a list of brilliant things, and we get the audience to shout out selected list entries all through the show. For example:
1. Ice Cream.
25. Peeing In the Sea and no-one knows.
994. Hairdressers who listen to what you want.
777,777. The prospect of dressing up as a Mexican Wrestler.
So everyone is involved in some way. Furthermore, I ‘cast’ members of the audience during the show to take the roles of my Dad, my life partner, my therapist, my vet and my University lecturer. So it’s different every single night and becomes a very intimate, shared, almost democratic experience.
Corine Cohen: What do you love about New York City?
Jonny Donahoe: What’s not to love? I love New York. Especially the food and the people. The winter’s been a bit tough this year, but it’s still been amazing being here. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge my friend Paddy, on a cold day, but with hot sunshine on your face at the same time, was pretty magical. (See attached photo). The most amazing burnt ends I’ve ever eaten, at Mighty Quinns on Greenwich Avenue. The craft beer here is pretty special too.
Corine Cohen: What is next for you?
Jonny Donahoe: I’m off on tour all around the UK for the next few months with my comedy band Jonny & The Baptists. We leave NYC on the 1st April and start touring the very next day, so it’s going to be a real whirlwind. I’m really excited about that, it’s a lot of stand-up and funny songs, and we are literally taking in the whole of the UK, so it’ll be great to visit the places in my country that I’ve never seen. Then we take Every Brilliant Thing back onto the road for a bit and wind up, back where the show started at The Edinburgh Festival!
You can catch ” Every Brilliant Thing” at the Barrow Street Theater for the next two weeks. Get your tickets
I have not seen this show but hope to catch it before it closes. http://www.barrowstreettheatre.com/index.asp