Review: National Therapy Project


Eleanor Tiernan gives familiar material some fresh legs: lie back and think of Ireland

National Therapy Project

Liberty Hall


Eleanor Tiernan opens by informing the audience that this is not a comedy show, and that we should not laugh. It’s strange introduction to a comedy performance that already has the whole audience lying on the floor, clutching a potato each.

She has set out to cleanse the Irish psyche, by satirising our nation’s woes, from sexual repression by the Catholic Church to Roy Keane walking out on the Irish soccer team in Saipan. It’s group therapy, and the laughs are serious.

The show is clever and tongue in cheek. It mixes Tiernan’s astute, mischievous observational humour with hilarious anecdotes from her past. The fourth stage, forgiveness, is a little overworked and slows the show down slightly, in what is an otherwise engaging performance.

Despite being almost entirely grounded in all-too-familiar Irish issues, and based off her St Patrick’s Day skit, “We need to talk about Ireland”, it still feels fresh and original. In this case, forcing your audience to lie back and think of Ireland makes for a surprisingly fun show.

Until Sept 20th

Originally published in the Irish Times on September 18th 2014.


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