Laughing ladies

The comediennes at this year’s Galway Comedy Festival

Maureen Langan.

Maureen Langan.

“I’D MUCH rather be a woman than a man. Women can cry, they can wear cute clothes, and they’re the first to be rescued off sinking ships.”

So said American comedienne Gilda Radner and to that list she should also have added ‘the ability to make us laugh’ as today there are is a wealth of great comediennes out there and some of the very best are coming to this city for the Galway Comedy Festival.

Nina Conti, Maeve Higgins, Sarah Kendall, Maureen Langan, Eleanor Tiernan, and Holly Walsh will play the festival which runs from October 21 to 25.

Londoner Nina Conti has made a name for herself in the comedy word with her stand up act which also features her onstage puppet sidekick Monk, a depressed monkey.

In 2002, Conti won the BBC New Comedy Awards, came second in the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year, and came third in Laughing Horse New Act of The Year competitions.

She performed her first solo full length show, Complete and Utter Conti at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2007. In 2008 she won the Barry Award for this show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, tying with Kristen Schaal.

According to the comedian and actor Jerry Stiller Maureen Langan “is to comedy what James Brown was to soul”. It’s no surprise then this feisty American was named one of the Ten Standout Stand-ups Worth Watching by Backstage magazine.

Her honesty, high energy, tales about her Irish mother, and ability to rant on life’s absurdities make her a comedy standout. She is also an award-winning television and radio journalist whose exceptional wit earned her the title of Best Female Commentator by the Newswomen’s Club of New York.

One of Ireland’s most popular comics, Maeve Higgins first came to our attention when she appeared on RTÉ’s Naked Camera Since then she has performed in comedy festivals around the world, including Edinburgh, Melbourne, Adelaide and Kilkenny. She is also a regular contributor to the Ray D’Arcy Show on Today FM.

Australian comedienne Sarah Kendall won the Raw Comedy competition in 1998, regularly appearing on Australian television, before moving to Britain in 2000. She has performed solo shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe regularly since 2003 and 2004 show was nominated for a Perrier award.

Surrey’s Holly Walsh attended boarding school before studying art history at Cambridge. She later worked in galleries in East London before becoming a stand up comedienne.

Walsh was runner-up in AmusedMoose LaughOff 2006 in the Edinburgh Fringe before winning Best Newcomer at the Chortle Awards in 2008. She has written for several TV and radio shows and appeared on The Late Edition on BBC Four and was a panellist on 8 Out of 10 Cats.

On Thursday October 22 Eleanor Tiernan will join PJ Gallagher and friends at the Black Box at 8pm.

On Friday 23 Maeve Higgins and Sarah Kendal will play the Radisson Live Lounge at 8pm while Nina Conti and Maureen Langan play Kelly’s at 9pm.

On Saturday 24 Holly Walsh will be one of the guests at Scott Cappuro’s Scott Cappuro’s Position in The Ruby Room of The King’s Head at 5.30pm; Holly Walsh and Maureen Langan play Kelly’s at 8pm; and Nina Conti will join Colin Murphy and Co at the Black Box at 8pm.

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