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Those Who Can’t Are Ready For Their Close Up: Interview with Stephen Beggs

Stephen Beggs, one-third of the acclaimed comedy troupe, Those Who Can't gives the inside scoop on their latest show at the MAC.

Stephen Beggs on motorcycle in costume

An acclaimed comedy sketch show written and performed by Dan Leith, Rachael McCabe and Stephen Beggs, Those Who Can’t are back with their latest instalment, Those Who Can’t Are Ready For Their Close Up, at the MAC on 30 November.  This time the gang are trying to break into movies, but what movie to choose, and what will best suit their unique ‘talents’?

We caught up with Stephen Beggs, one-third of the acclaimed comedic trio to get the inside scoop on the new show and give audiences an idea of what to expect. 

What was the inspiration behind Those Who Can’t?

The group was formed in 2001 and the current line-up of myself, Rachael and Dan has been in place for four years.  We wanted to write and perform our own material and to avoid the age-old topics of comedy in Northern Ireland – local politics etc. Instead, our sketches take a humorous, sometimes exasperated look at the things that frustrate, excite and amuse us in everyday life.  We always had a slightly surreal view of the world and try not to take ourselves and things happening around us seriously at all.  We’re also three very different people and the contrast between us sparks lots of funny ideas.  Before ‘Those Who Can’t Are Ready For Their Close Up’, our most recent shows have been ‘Those Who Can’t: Can’t Even’, ‘Those Who Can’t Are Fighting With Monsters’ and ‘Crystal Mess’.

For people unaware of Those Who Can’t, how would you sum up the shows?

Three funny people poking fun at a ridiculous world!

How long has this latest show been in development?

We started knocking ideas around at the start of 2019 and had all the sketches written by the summer.  We always pride ourselves in coming up with a particularly funny and ridiculous image to promote the show, and once we’d settled on the idea of movies for the overall theme, then a photo-call was arranged with us recreating the three movie legends.  I think Dan makes a particularly fetching Marilyn Monroe.

Who is the show for and what can audiences expect?

The show is for fans of comedy which makes you laugh out loud, whilst giving the little grey cells some exercise at the same time. Also fans of classic movies and anyone just looking for a good entertaining night out!  Expect lots of laughs, at least one fantastic song and a very poor impersonation of Gwyneth Paltrow.

Why should audiences come along to see this latest instalment?

It’s our best show yet and we’re delighted to be performing it in the MAC.  Many, many years ago we performed our second show at the old OMAC, so for us, this feels a bit like coming home.

See Those Who Can't Are Ready For Their Close Up at the MAC on Saturday 30 November. Book tickets here