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Aisling Bea, Soho Theatre | reviews, news & interviews

Aisling Bea, Soho Theatre

Aisling Bea, Soho Theatre

Young Irish comic with a delightfully daft show

Aisling Bea powers through a joyously funny hour of comedy

Young Irish actress and comic Aisling Bea made a tremendous debut with C'est la Bea at last year's Edinburgh Fringe, where she was deservedly nominated for best newcomer in the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Now she is performing a short run at the Soho Theatre and, on second view, it's still a joyously funny show.

You may know Bea from various acting roles (The Town, Dead Boss) but you will surely be seeing her on your screens a lot more from now on, as she's an accomplished actress (a Rada graduate), here using a range of accents and even throwing in an impersonation of Sir David Attenborough for good measure. On the night I saw her show, she overcame a dead audience, powering through with huge energy and commitment, and winning over even the hardest to please in the room.

There are superb riffs about Ireland's collective madness, greed and corruption

It's a gloriously daft hour in which Bea shows off her hula-hooping and break-dancing skills, and even her version of a nose flute. She gleefully guys Irish stereotypes, pulling a cheesy smile while she says “potatoes” several times, and giving the word far more than three syllables. She talks about Irish charm and her death-obsessed mother, who was a professional jockey and the reason her daughter speaks at a canter. She also has a startling explanation of the famine; while it's true that Ireland is surrounded by fish-filled seas, "they couldn't eat fish without chips".

There are superb riffs about Ireland's collective madness, greed and corruption during the Celtic Tiger years – "giving mortgages to 12-year-olds" – where her anger is barely masked, and clever asides about the language of the internet and how misogynistic women's magazines are. Such is the rate at which the gags come, there's a danger that the more subtle jokes can get lost.

Towards the end of the hour there's a lengthy but well structured reenactment of a night out in the country discos of her youth, where Beyoncé will always get the girls up on the dance floor, while the lads will join them only if there's a track they jump around to. The dancing is followed by a scuffle in the car park, and Bea has to get involved because the fight may be over her: “Stop fighting - you both fingered me equally well!” Great fun.

  • Aisling Bea is at Soho Theatre until 1 February
You will surely be seeing her on your screens a lot more, as she's an accomplished actress


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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