Gráinne Maguire @ Gilded Balloon

Talented Gráinne Maguire brings a strong hour to the Balloon

Review by Cara McNamara | 08 Aug 2017
  • Gráinne Maguire

As the Angela’s Ashes quote goes, “Worse than the ordinary, miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood; and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.” Well, Gráinne Maguire seems to have survived, despite having an unpronounceable name, nun PTSD, and a succession of drama teachers insisting on setting period dramas in the Troubles.

Sparky and self-mocking, Maguire is a self-confessed try-hard who wants to make everyone love her, and a good chunk of the show consists of her gleefully describing how she goes about doing that. And it’s all going according to plan until around the 45 minute mark, when she makes an excellent, startling observation about male comic privilege, but leaves herself little time to do anything about it.

Had she brought this up earlier, we would have been talking about a very different type of show; had she omitted it, she could have cruised to the end with a satisfying traditional set. However, as it stands, the show concludes as neither fish nor fowl, and unfortunately it is weakened for it.

Gráinne Maguire: Gráinne with a Fada, Gilded Balloon, Teviot (Turret) until 28 Aug (not 15 Aug), 6.30 pm, £7.50-9.50