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Grainne Maguire's One Hour All Night Election Special

Note: This review is from 2013

Review by Steve Bennett

Looking for a political show this year? Well, despite the title, Grainne Maguire probably shouldn’t be where you cast your vote.

For this is politics dumbed-down, as her insight extends little further on judging the party leaders on what sort of a boyfriend she thinks they’ll make; while their wives are valued depending on what sort of companion they’d be during a night on the town.

The ‘election night special’ conceit allows primary school teacher Maguire to delve into the art box and grab her coloured markers and flip-charts for some home-made graphics, rosettes and swingometers. And you thought comedy’s lo-fi movement had moved on once Josie Long developed a social conscience...

These doohickeys are deployed as the Irish emigré draws parallels between her own life and election candidates, which look increasingly tenuous as the show pads on. Would-be politicians have to face repeated defeat, while she’s repeatedly lost waitressing and admin jobs; MPs need a determination to win, just as the schoolgirl her was determined to win a dancing contest; candidates often look awkward in photo-ops, and so on...

Alongside this we have a mock election, casting our vote for optimism, pessimism or pragmatism in the constituencies she divides us into. Which all seems a lot of contrivance for very little content.

The stand-up’s weak and inconsequential: the occasional bit of wordplay, directionless tales of her getting then losing a boyfriend, showing embarrassing old pictures of her as she describes decades-old sibling squabbles. Maguire is an affable host, but she seems to be using her silly structure in place of punchlines, in an hour that lacks focus.

Sorry, but this show is emptier than a Lib Dem promise; an hour Stuff and Nonsense that doesn’t get my vote.

Review date: 9 Aug 2013
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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