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Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective


Edinburgh Fringe 2018: Gráinne Maguire: I Forgive You; Please Like Me @ Gilded Balloon

Irish comedienne Gráinne Maguire returns to the Edinburgh Fringe with this hour of stand-up comedy covering such subjects as “the lovely girl”, always being right, sleazy men and her nation’s concept of “family”.

I caught Gráinne’s show last year, Gráinne with a Fada, and left feeling that she was a cut above the majority of stand-up comics. Therefore, I came into this one with high expectations, albeit with a little side helping of dread hoping that she won’t just recycle half of her previous material. Thankfully, I once again came out of another blisteringly funny and self-deprecating show. Like many other comics from Ireland, her humour does spend a lot of time referring to particular characteristics of her own country. However, rather than simply dealing with the quaintly cosy aspects of, for example, its rural pub culture, she is unafraid to expose the real elephants in the room such as Sinn Féin’s violent past, child abuse in the Catholic priesthood, the recent divisive abortion referendum and the nation’s conservative views of what women should be like.

These aspects of her humour are hilarious because her approach is so sharp and unabashed. However, she also touches on areas which are more universal to the British Isles, including her own leftist politics, dating anxieties, sleazy men and even Winston Churchill. One particular moment where she debunks a cloying scene in Darkest Hour, the recent biopic of the latter figure, is wonderfully astute. I almost wondered at this point if some ardent pro-Brexiteer gammon type would start heckling her over this. Thankfully, however, this never happened.

The show took place in the aptly-titled Wee Room in Gilded Balloon Teviot. It is a stuffy broom closet of a venue, particularly so in this stifling summer heat (foldaway hand fans were thoughtfully provided). While she’s certainly personable enough to be well suited to this kind of intimate setting, part of me wishes that she will get a larger one next time she’s in this neck of the woods. How about it, Gilded Balloon organisers?

Watch a video:

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Tickets are available from the following link:

Edinburgh Fringe 2018 logo

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