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Brighton Journal | 25th May 2020

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Multi-award winning comedian Chris McCausland is bringing his show to Brighton

Hannah Midgley

“He’s blind. He’s a dad. He’s a husband. That’s just the half of it.”: this is how The List describes comedian Chris McCausland, who made his debut in 2003.

Following the huge success of his Edinburgh Fringe Show, Speaky Blinder, the multi-award winning comedian is touring the country and will visit Brighton on the 13th of June at Komedia.

Chris McCausland is currently the only professional comedian in the world to be blind. In this interview he talks about his challenges as a blind comedian, his struggles as a father and the struggles with being married to someone from the other side of the globe.

What’s the most challenging part of gigging/touring for a blind comedian?

The most challenging parts of life as a comedian for me are all of the logistical ones, travelling the country to different venues and even getting to and from the stage at a show.  Obviously, I’ve found solutions to these aspects of the job over the years. Once these issues have been overcome the actual on stage, stand-up part of the job is the easy bit.

What’s the most challenging part of being a dad for you?

As my daughter has got older and more communicative, being a blind Dad has got easier in lots of ways.  There was a really difficult period when she was a one-year old, where she was mobile but silent, crawling about on the floor but hardly making a bloody peep!  Looking back, maybe I should have put a bell on her, or a bluetooth tracker so that I could ask Alexa to find her! Now she’s five though, it’s probably things like not being able to help her properly with her reading and her writing. How many of the other kids in her class have already got better handwriting than their Daddy? 

You’re a northerner and your wife is Brazilian – how does that culture clash work out?

As you can imagine, we are very different in terms of our culture, and our biological response to temperature.  Whereas my wife will still require a winter coat in 22 degree sunshine, I struggle to function in anything warmer than about 26.  This obviously creates a great deal of conflict when the central heating comes into question. I talk about this in the show, but I think there is a good chance that one of us may one day be found dead in the hallway with one arm reaching out towards the thermostat, with the other one of us having skipped the country. 

What has been your career high point so far?

My career high point so far has definitely been filming Live at the Apollo for the BBC.  Not only was it the biggest career opportunity that I have had, but it was also the biggest actual gig that I had done, getting to play in front of 3500 comedy fans at the Hammersmith Apollo.  I have lived in London for over twenty years and have been to see lots of my music and comedy heroes perform on that stage, and so to get to do the same was a dream come true really.

What projects have you got coming up?

After this tour is over, I plan to write a book about my own experiences of losing my sight, being a comedian, and becoming a Dad.  They say that everybody has got a book in them, and I reckon I must have at least two.  I also plan to become Prime Minister, destroy Facebook, and form the world’s most successful rock band.

Chris McCausland: Speaky Blinder, Komedia, Thursday 13th June @8PM. Tickets £10.

Images ©Steve Ullathorne

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