- 17 Sep 19
Following her Dublin Fringe debut with the theatrical panel show Blá Blá Blá..., we asked stand-up Bláithín De Burca to discuss what’s it all about, why she thinks comedy is important, and that old devil: imposter syndrome.
Can you give me a flavour of Blá Blá Blá and how it came about?
I start the show with some stand-up to get people thinking about the topic of the night, and then introduce the panel for each evening. We will discuss that topic over some drinks and a healthy dose of laughter. Subject-wise it doesn’t differ much from my stand-up. What’s different is the format, and its potential impact. The weird thing is that I’ve been working on this show since I started doing stand-up. I never set out to be a ‘feminist’ comedian deliberately, but every time I sat down to write something, the things I care and think about most are what came pouring out, ie. women’s rights and feminist ideology (and okay, fine, there’s a lot of sex in there too). So with this show, I’m opening that format up to other voices, and perspectives, because, for all my good intentions, I’m just a clown!
What does comedy mean for people right now?
I do feel that these days comedy is so important. I dunno if you’ve noticed, but things are bad, dude – the planet is angry and rightly so. There’s so much going on, and we often need something to feel accessible in order to engage and empathise. The truth hurts and it’s hard to comprehend at that level, so it’s easier to look away. So in this sense, comedy is I think a fantastic lens to view things through, because it needn’t be objective, it needn’t be careful, it can tell the truth… And you can laugh at it. Then you can process it, and own it, and maybe do something about it! A comedy panel show about intersectional feminism is a hefty undertaking! So I’d love for those feelings to be there coming out of the show, even if apprehension follows.
How were you feeling as opening day loomed?
Imposter syndrome was naturally a huge factor, even at the application stage. It’s all well and good for me to invite people to laugh at me talking about sex and willies and the environment, and the fact that the world is melting before our eyes, but what do I know really? What can I do, really? I can bring the funny, but where does that go after I’m done? The way I deal with it is by copping on to myself and listening to my friends. I know that I work hard, I care more than most, I’ve achieved a lot and I’m worthy of achieving lots more. It’s not tooting my own horn as much as admitting to myself that I have a horn to toot, and if I saw a friend neglect their horn (look it’s not my fault your mind works that way, this is a horn-tooting metaphor, get on board), I’d be upset and angry to see such potential wasted.