Matt Dundon is one of two candidates in the race for Ents Officer this year. Dundon held the first of his promotional events on Monday night in Chaplins Bar & Comedy Club. The founder of The Midnight Disco, a favourite club night among many Trinity students, Dundon organised the event in collaboration with Trinity’s own bunch of aspiring comedians.
Dundon’s manifesto focuses on unorthodox and affordable events, with an emphasis on collaboration with smaller societies and accessibility for all. The fourth point on Dundon’s manifesto explains that smaller societies in Trinity are often overlooked, and his aim is to “tap into these societies’ potential, and allow them to further engage with their members”. Dundon has worked to establish himself in Dublin’s social scene, and now wants everyone in Trinity to reap the benefits of this hard work. Luckily for this gang of comedians, they had been chosen as the first benefactor.
Chaplins is a cosy little pub, nestled alongside Tramline, just minutes away from the front arch. Upon arrival, one may wonder how it claims to be a home of comedy, until you hear the echoes of laughter float down the stairs. A neat auditorium of sorts is set up in the above function room, with all of the seats occupied by eager comedy enthusiasts and Dundon supporters. The gig was MC’d by the brilliant Cilléin Farrell, with a mix of excellent stand up from Conor Nevin, Gary Doyle and Bláithín De Burca. The jokes were a perfect balance of light-hearted and hard-hitting, self-deprecating and confident.
I managed to catch up with Dundon after he made his closing speech, in which he thanked everyone for coming, and expressed hope that he had given a first-hand account of “what [he] is about”. When asked about the night and how he thought it went, Dundon answered in his usual enthusiastic manner: “I was a little worried about enough people showing, given that it’s a small venue and a small society”, he started, “but it was a fantastic turnout and fantastic show”. He reiterated that this is the type of Ents he stands for; that he wants to create. “Every society and every group deserve a chance to showcase themselves, and I believe I can make that happen” he concluded.
From my point of view as spectator, it was definitely different. I rarely attend any form of comedy gig, let alone one organised by Trinity students themselves. The set was entertaining and relatable, which in my eyes is important. It is becoming all too common for students to lose touch with the SU and their ideals, and events have always been the easiest way to rebuild this connection. The event was everything Dundon promised it to be; a good laugh in a local, underused venue, with cheap drink. It is hard to turn down a €3.70 pint, even with deadline season fast approaching.
Thus far, Dundon has stayed true to his promises, which may not be the case for all hopeful Sabbatical officers this year. If he continues to do so there is no doubt we are in for a host of unusual and eye-opening events in the year to come, with a potentially reinvigorated college community on the horizon.