Arts

Eilish O'Carroll: Mrs Brown's sister's show intimate and highly entertaining

Eilish O'Carroll's one-woman show Live Love Laugh is touring around Ireland, including more dates in the north

REVIEW: Eilish O’Carroll, Live Love Laugh Tour, Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey

EILISH O’Carroll, sister of Brendan, famous as Winnie McGoogan, Mrs Brown’s next door neighbour in Mrs Brown's Boys, a funny lady and a lesbian. And that’s not the half of it.

Anyone wanting to hear about the goings on of the O’Carroll clan behind the scenes were disappointed but what she had to say held the audience enthralled because her own life story is fascinating and above all, entertaining.

Born in Dublin, she was loved as the baby of nine children but she lost that honour when her little brother Brendan was born! Her mother was the first female Labour TD in Ireland so she wasn’t at home much and, when she was, Eilish didn’t get a great deal of attention.

“God didn’t make you beautiful,” said Mrs O’Carroll. “But he made you ever so loveable”.

She shared a bed with her sisters, three at the top and two at the bottom, so when she lost her dummy she said, there was always a toe to suck.

She’s an attractive woman, very personable, and held the audience in the palm of her hand, flame jacket and yellow blouse and not a roller or a hairnet in sight.

A lot of her chat I can’t report – all too personal; certainly the women identified with her sex life and the men roared with laughter. Saucy but never vulgar.

What happened when the double decker bus started to vibrate, sending pleasure waves through the 12-year-old, going to confession to admit her guilt; when her first boyfriend brushed part of his anatomy against her she immediately thought she was pregnant; a shy young woman visiting the doctor to discuss her inability to reach sexual pleasure and being convinced that she had a disability ‘down there’.

Her first marriage was abusive, her second marriage didn’t work and her realisation that her love for another woman was what she yearned for. An excellent, intimate show.

Riverside Theatre, Coleraine, May 17; Millennium Forum, Derry, May 18; Burnavon Theatre, Cooktown, May 19; Waterfront Studio Belfast, May 20. Full details at eilishocarroll.com

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