Dublin Fringe Festival: Moving City

Maeve Higgins' Moving City at Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

Maeve Higgins' Moving City at Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

“I feel so sorry for stand-up comedians,” the bare-footed stand up-comedian Maeve Higgins announces to us from a cluttered stage strewn with flags and clothes.  It is extremely hard, however, to feel in any way sorry for this sharp and self-assured woman, despite the fact that her own personal imperfections (such as accidentally watching four hours of Mad Men while consuming a family-size pack of M&Ms as a treat-slash-punishment) seem to be the object of most of her quips in her first play.  

Comedy is a risky and sophisticated profession, and Maeve is clearly both of these things.  It is not so much a case of what she says (for immeasurable digressions from the topic at hand, unfinished sentences and vocalised trains of sidetracked thought are only some of the characteristics of her unique delivery), but more a case of how she says it.  Her subtly inflecting tones (which are never overdone), her meticulous timings (a long enough delay or hilarious prematurity) and the fine balance she manages to achieve between all-round bring-your-granny family-friendly funniness and intellectually perspicacious humour that leans dangerously close to the absurd.  

This play (perhaps better described as a structured stand-up sketch with a main theme) centres on Maeve’s emigration to London in search of a bigger and more interesting life.  She’s since discovered that things aren’t all that different over there, however, so it’s off to New York City in January, she tells us elatedly, which raises half a round of applause.  
Behind its comedic achievements there is a significant message to be heard in Moving City:  “I should be happy... and I am, sort of.” 

Star rating: ★★★★

  • Review
  • Theatre

Dublin Fringe Festival: Moving City by Maeve Higgins

18-21 September 2013

Produced by Maeve Higgins
In Smock Alley Theatre

 Written and performed by Maeve Higgins

'Fringe Volunteer' played by Aine McKevitt

Directed by Una McKevitt

Video Design by Tom Walsh