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Comedy Festival madness

Wednesday 30th April 2014

Madness, sadness, darkness and worry have inspired some of humanity’s best artistic imaginings – and the link between mental illness, addiction issues, and works of staggering genius and creativity is a well-explored one.

Eamonn Marra outside Work and Income
Eamonn Marra outside Work and Income


Wellington-based comedian and writer Eamonn Marra made a show for this year’s Fringe Festival about the four days he spent in a mental health respite centre for intense anxiety. His New Zealand International Comedy Festival show, Man on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, is about the road back from anxiety and depression.

For more of Eamonns comedy, check out his depression and anxiety diary. For The Wireless, he’s also written about his principles for comedy, and his experience of looking for work while unwell.

He spoke to Radio New Zealand’s Charlotte Graham about making mental illness funny.

In the full interview, Eamonn talks more about how he crafted his shows.

Cover image by Saskia Bunce-Rath.

This content is brought to you with funding assistance from New Zealand On Air.

Charlotte Graham is a freelance journalist and writer who works for a non-profit. She’s mostly into comedy for the death jokes.