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May 10, 2010 | by  | in Theatre | [ssba]

Maeve Higgins

I was at BATS just over a week ago seeing My Name is Rachel Corrie. That show was not a comedy. There was, however, a poster for a comedy show by Maeve Higgins. “Holy shit,” says I to the person with whom I was seeing the aforementioned not-comedy, “My mam’s name is Maeve!” Yes, I actually said mam. No, I’m not deliberately being a knob, I just inexplicably slip into an Irish accent when talking to my mother and occasionally, as here, when talking about her. Because she’s Irish. It’s not just the weirdest way of interacting with a parent ever. It’s just friendly English mockery. Anyhow. The point is my mum is Irish and called Maeve. Maeve Higgins is Irish and called Maeve. I had to see this show. And not just because part of me pondered the exceptionally remote possibility that my mum was masquerading as a stand-up comic and had forgotten that I lived in Wellington. 

Maeve Higgins is not my mum. She is, however, properly funny. I laughed often, and heartily. From the outset I was onside with her and she never once lost me. I’ll admit that I have rarely enjoyed female stand-up comics, but this predicament was blown out of the water by Maeve Higgins. (And then, once out of the water, destroyed by the performance of Josie Long later that evening. It was like a crazy comedy tag-team destroying mental preconceptions.) In her show, Higgins discusses the amount of emphasis placed on her being a female stand up comedian and how non-plussed she is by it. She’s right—she’s not a good female stand-up comedian. She’s a good stand-up comedian.

Her material may not be the most insightful into the human condition or into the world and all its politics, but it is relatable. What carries the show is the delivery and the charm of Higgins herself. If jokes miss the mark, it’s almost irrelevant because she’s such an engaging performer. In addition, none of her material is inherently Ireland-centric. There are stories of Ireland, but they aren’t jokes that require a knowledge of Ireland or Irish culture to understand. 

So if it gets to six o’clock and you find yourself feeling grumpy and in need of a good laugh, you needn’t go much further than Maeve Higgins at six thirty. Assuming you can wait from six till six thirty for your laughs, of course. If you can’t there’s probably something wrong with you. For the rest of you I highly recommend you see this show. And laugh. 

Maeve Higgins—A Rare Sight
At BATS theatre
4 – 8 May 2010


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