Comedian Deirdre O'Kane is set for three Cork gigs with new show 'Demented!'

Ahead of the first of three Cork gigs in 2022, actress and comedian Deirdre O’Kane chats to AISLING MEATH about why women need to take more care of themselves, her joy at the return of live stand-up, and hanging with a Cork comedian Stateside
Comedian Deirdre O'Kane is set for three Cork gigs with new show 'Demented!'

Comedian and TV host Deirdre O'Kane.

ACTRESS comedian and TV host Deirdre O’Kane will be forever grateful to the jewel of Victorian architecture, The Everyman Theatre in Cork, for giving her a health- affirming tip.

In a recent Twitter post wishing The Everyman a very happy 125th birthday, Deirdre revealed her fondness for the iconic theatre where she will be performing her new show Demented on October 1.

“It’s one of the nicest theatres in the country, and the only one where they put your name in lights outside - very good for the ego!’ she joked.

“My favourite memory is of the last time I was going on stage there, I decided to treat myself to a gin and tonic. I was handed the drink, and it had a few leaves of basil in it. Now, thanks to The Everyman, I always throw a few leaves of basil into my G+T, which is why I am in such good health,” she laughed.

 Deirdre O'Kane has three Cork gigs as part of her nationwide tour of 'Demented'.
 Deirdre O'Kane has three Cork gigs as part of her nationwide tour of 'Demented'.

Deirdre exudes lust for life, and a positive ‘can do’ attitude, and combined with her sparkling wit and self-deprecating humour, it all makes for a cocktail of endearing qualities which have contributed towards her being one of the most beloved performers in Ireland.

Her new stand-up comedy show Demented, which she is currently touring, has already garnered rave reviews from the critics. Cork-based fans will be heartened to know she will soon be performing the show at another iconic Cork venue - De Barra’s in Clonakilty on May 6 - as well as later in the year, on December 9 at Sea Church, Ballycotton, and the aforementioned show at the Everyman on October 1.

One of Ireland’s favourite stand-up comedians, Deirdre never strays too far from her live stand-up comedic roots and had written a portion of Demented just before the pandemic, and completed it during lockdown. During this time she also fronted a prime TV slot on RTÉ , Deirdre O’ Kane Talks Funny.

There’s a point beyond burn-out where all you can do is laugh, and in the show Deirdre jokes about how she has reached that point, and deals with many of the issues women are trying to balance in their lives.

She is hyper-aware of the pressures which many women feel in order attain the notion of ‘perfection’, and that is one of the elements which inspired the writing of the show.

“One of the things I missed most during lockdown was my wonderful cleaner. When she came back, I think she got the biggest hug from me of all the people I hadn’t seen. 

"I know that I am lucky enough to be able to afford one, but I urge women, if they can, to get as much help as as possible. 

"It’s important for women to look after themselves more, and to stop trying to keep up with impossible standards, like having their homes Instagram perfect. It’s way too much pressure.

“Demented is about me being a woman of a certain age, with the hormones bouncing off the walls, and also having two teenagers in the house with their hormones in competition with mine to see whose can bounce the furthest. I think it’s important to acknowledge this natural stage in life, and not to be reticent in talking about the menopause.

“I also talk about the loss of parents, which can often occur at this time of life too. I lost my own dad a couple of years ago, and the show addresses this. It’s quite cathartic, and at the same time funny as I explain how I am not any longer afraid that I will say something that might offend him.

“The show is 75 minutes of people howling with laughter, and it’s been so gratifying to see people enjoying it so much. It really gives me so much pleasure to get a reaction like that from the audience.

“Every audience is different, and I really enjoy the elements which that brings to the energy in the room. I have been doing stand up now for 20 years and no two audiences are the same, which I really enjoy. It’s always fresh and interesting.”

 Deirdre O'Kane hosting the virtual 2022 IFTA Film & Drama Awards. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Deirdre O'Kane hosting the virtual 2022 IFTA Film & Drama Awards. Picture: Brian McEvoy

Deirdre is also just back from a recent trip to New York where she was delighted to meet up with Cork comedian, actress and writer Maeve Higgins.

“It was really lovely to meet up with Maeve again and hang out with her. I performed a stand up set at the wonderful Butterboy Club in Brooklyn, which is hosted by Maeve, along with Jo Firestone and Aparna Nancherla. 

"I really enjoyed it, it was such fun to be back in New York again as I hadn’t been for some time.

“I also performed in the Comedy Cellar in Manhattan which was fantastic too. New York was buzzing and it was great to experience the atmosphere, and to be able to go out and see shows on Broadway again.” she said.

It’s also great to welcome Deirdre back to the Rebel County again, and once again experience the joys of live comedy, a huge relief from feeling demented.

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