Sean Hughes: What I Meant to Say Was… Gilded Balloon, Teviot, Edinburgh, 2009
Sean Hughes: Ducks and Other Mistakes I’ve Made: Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh, 2010
Sean Hughes: Life Becomes Noises: Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh, 2012
Laugh Till It Hurts Comedy Gala 2013: Bloomsbury Theatre, London, 2013
Big Comedy Gala in Aid of Macmillan Cancer: Venue 150 @ EICC, Edinburgh, 2013
Sean Hughes’ Blank Book: Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh, 2017

I was lucky enough to see Sean Hughes on stage for a number of years when he performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  Having won the prestigious Perrier Award (now Edinburgh Comedy Award) at the age of 24, going on to star in his own sitcom, be a regular team captain on the long running TV comedy music quiz Never Mind The Buzzcocks, I first saw him in 2009 for his show What I Meant To Say Was… The jovial popular Irish comedian looked haggard on stage but turned his world weariness into comedy gold talking about his cantankerous life to an enlivened audience.

In 2010 for Ducks and Other Mistakes I’ve Made, the lack of motivation appeared to be still there but the subject matter – pondering the effects of aging on his looks and his sex life, his failure to form a meaningful long-term relationship, quitting smoking and other such concerns of the middle-aged again greatly entertained.

In 2012, he returned with Life Becomes Noises which was a moving and fitting tribute to his dearly departed father conveying his dad’s sense of humour to the crowd with laughs hewn from his family life delivered with just enough pathos, and trademark wit and imagination.

In 2017’s Blank Book curator Sean Hughes and his core team of highly talented comedians: Carl Donnelly, Hannah Norris and Joe Rowntree made up a story live on stage, with the help of an occasional very special guest. The story had a written beginning, the audience were told the end, with the comics having no clue in what direction they were heading. When I attended this, Hughes did not look well on stage and the show seemed to suffer for this.

It was a great shame that Blank Book was to be Hughes last live performance that I saw because in October 2017, Hughes tragically died at the age of just 51 years old.  Having been a popular and familiar face in the modern world of comedy for over 25 years, he will be greatly missed.

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