Eleanor Tiernan is a free Fringe regular and the sort to win repeat business for her pleasing brand of mild disgruntlement and Irish disaffection. When, at the start, she references last year’s show and the reviews thereof, it will bring returning audiences straight back in with her, even if it’s a slightly overlong introduction for others.
Ahead of this year’s show, Tiernan’s taken the decision not to make a sex tape to further her career, a dilemma not facing most of this genteel audience. In this afternoon’s proceedings, she’s working through the pros and cons with us – there’s the fame angle to consider, the opportunity to stick two fingers up at her Catholic upbringing, the advertising potential on the dating scene…
There’s some interesting diversions here. How is history going to judge those who don’t make sex tapes? It seems obvious, but how do we know what people will think thirty years down the line? After all, a trip to buy some jeans led Tiernan to an encounter with a salesperson that made her wonder whether sometimes trying to be “woke” and “on the right side of history” is just annoying.
Other musing includes the ways in which cat cafes are like brothels, the ritual humiliations single women face at weddings, and a story about landlords and rats in her rental flat which made her wonder about her own honesty. She paints an effective picture of turn-of-the-40s female singledom.
There’s some things which as an Irishwoman she’s almost duty bound to mention – the Repeal the 8th vote and church oppression of female sexuality. Hard to be sparklingly original with any of this, but she deals with it nicely with a familial twist.
The introduction seems to set up more use of the video projector behind her, so it’s a surprise it only gets used for a youtube video that sets up a joke, and a short ends-tying final sequence. The slowly unwinding nature of her tales also means the laughs-per-minute ratio is lower than some. But there’s already enough fast-paced bantz merchants out there, and Tiernan’s more measured pondering makes for an easy, enjoyable hour.