Q&A With Eamonn Marra of ‘Respite’

Posted on September 29, 2015 by Basement

How would you describe Respite in one sentence…

I think ‘Everything is Sad and Funny and nothing is anything else’ is a good description which is useful because I’ve been using it in all my marketing.

As the sole writer and performer of Respite, what was its creation process like?

Respite began as a short story that I wrote at the end of a creative writing workshop at Victoria University in 2012. I submitted it in my folio and didn’t think about it again for quite a while, then I saw Home – a show by Freya Desmarais in the 2013 Fringe Festival in Wellington and thought of using Respite as a show. I first performed it in the 2014 Fringe Festival where I pretty much just read the story out from a piece of paper while sitting at a desk. I then took it back to another creative writing workshop at the beginning of the year, made a whole bunch of changes, then read that out from a piece of paper at a Preview Weekend that the Comedy Festival organised, then started working with a director, my friend Alice May Connolly who helped me work out how to perform it. So even though the writing was solo, there were so many people that helped me workshop it and perform it which is how it came to be as good as it is.

You were named “Best Newcomer” at the 2014 New Zealand International Comedy Festival—do you still consider yourself a “newcomer”?

In some ways yes, but in others no. I’m a newcomer in Auckland definitely, in Wellington I’m not, but then I’m not a pro either by any means. Maybe I’m an ‘Up and Comer’ now?

Who is your biggest comedic idol, and if you could only ask him/her one question what would it be?

Probably Joseph Harper who lives in Auckland and is a friend of mine, so I can ask him questions almost whenever I want. I would ask him why he took down The Bears album he recorded. It was a really cool album.

Is there a different sense of humor between those who live in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland?

Probably, people always come back from Auckland to Wellington and say ‘wow Auckland audiences are dirty’ or something like that, but then I’m sure the other way is true too. I think there are probably wider differences within the cities than there are between them.

What is the funniest video you’ve seen online lately? How did you stumble upon it?

Chris Parker + Hayley Sproull – Wedding

I saw this a while ago and have watched it a bunch since then and love it every time. I think was originally in a show they did a couple of years ago called ‘Outsiders Guide’ which was one of my favourite things the Comedy Festival that year. My flatmate went to school with Chris Parker which is how I originally saw it but it has come up a few times on my facebook page since then.