Fringe Comedy

Lorraine Wilson

Grainne Maguire – Great People Making Great Choices

Pleasance Courtyard


Aidan Killian – The Money Shot

Heroes @ Dragonfly


Neil Delamere - Ctrl Alt Delamere

Gilded Balloon at the Museum


THE NAME might be familiar to social media devotees as the woman who, last year, Tweeted her menstrual cycle to Taoiseach Enda Kenny as a protest against Ireland’s abortion laws. The point being that if the government wants to be in control of women’s bodies they should know what’s happening at every point. Thousands joined her in this.

This is covered later in the hour, but the main thrust is the stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves.

This takes us from family tales to the image we choose to project. Also, how stories in films affect us, with a top-class Wizard of Oz deliberation. The best material, however, comes with the stories that nations tell about themselves.

It’s a confusing hour at times, particularly where a slight flakiness and what strays into whimsy abuts the hard-hitting political stance on women’s rights in Ireland. Maguire is strongest, and funniest, when she’s at her most passionate.

Unlike many other shows, she always manages to bring it back to the overarching theme of the title. It’s well-written and even the darkest material is delivered with a charm that’s not solely down to her nationality.

Run ends August 29

NOT HAVING had our own political and economic issues to seek over the past few years, the perilous state of Ireland’s institutions might have passed by many in the UK.

Aidan Killian is well versed in the problems facing his country following the crash. On this year’s Fringe it appears that the former investment banker is one of a handful of stand-ups dedicated to tackling serious issues. But this is comedy and it needs to be a laughing matter.

Previous shows have addressed religion and whistleblowing, but this year, in The Money Shot, it’s the bankers who are given a thorough and intellectual drubbing. Hopefully the audience is acquainted with the workings of The Bilderberg Group and the Rothschild family – if not, Killian manages nugget-like explanations.

It’s smart and his delivery commands the attention. There are great comic ideas and pinpoint timing - it just needs a few more major belly laughs to step it up to brilliance. Comedy that illuminates as well as tickles is crucial. Killian is a man who can deliver.

Run ends August 28

OF COURSE, at its heart stand-up comedy has one purpose - to make us laugh. If the practitioner wants to make us think too, that’s great, but it’s not on the essential qualifications list.

Neil Delamere is a man who makes us laugh. It’s not quite the observational “have you seen this?” style of our stadium stand-ups, but it’s conversational, with an affable, mainstream style that slots him into any TV showcase with bright lights and dry ice.

He talks to a range of audience members, who provide material ranging from a rape alarm on a walking stick, to a man who trains undertakers. Delamere is also tickled that a guide dog who had been at a previous show was there again. With its owner of course.

There’s no real premise. It’s simply “things that have happened since the last Fringe”.

The implications for Ireland and its neighbour to the north following Brexit, how to ask for an espresso in rural Ireland, and even a huge laugh from the Famine – this is a likeable fella.

He talks us through the bobsled ride and astronaut training he had to go through for a TV show at home but still manages to incorporate details from everyone he has spoken to in every story.

There are no gimmicks here – it’s straight stand up, but nothing else is required when thinking is as quick at this.

Run ended

Lorraine Wilson