Review: Gráinne Maguire: Guys... It's Problematic

comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Grainne Maguire
Photo by Idil Sukan
Published 16 Aug 2019

It was going so well, too. Gráinne Maguire gets right to the end of her engaging new hour, battling gamely against the weirdest sound-bleed from next door (complete silence punctuated by occasional applause: are the silent discos doing stand-up now?) then lets big chunks of the audience escape before she proffers the bucket, like air from a balloon as you fiddle with the string.

A valve-like analogy is one of the show’s high points actually: Maguire suggests that many Westerners use anxiety as an energy source, crushing the worries down until they become almost a fossil fuel, unless some outside force gets in and releases the pressure; like love.

That’s relevant because our host recently acquired a boyfriend, which is how she begins here, slightly unpromisingly. Thankfully though the new beau is Asian, so it opens up all sorts of interesting possibilities about how a significant other can alter your own self-perception. Suddenly Maguire feels all white-privilege, rather than funky-immigrant (“I was one of the cool ones!”). Comparing herself to his high-achieving exes hardly helps the personal paranoia levels, either. 

That playing-field eventually levels when he heads over to meet her folks “in a very white bit of Ireland”, although she fails to fully tug on that promising string here. As a busy writer too, perhaps she’s saving it for the sitcom pitch – think Get Out meets Derry Girls.

Maguire is probably best known for political stuff elsewhere, whereas this enjoyably undemanding show is a blessed release from those bewildering issues. She barely even demands your cash.