Adjacent Meridian Point,
Bringing her acclaimed show How To Get The Menopause And Enjoy It to The Whale on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th, funny girl Anne Gildea reveals just when that funny bone first tickled…
From when I was a little kid I dreamed of being in ‘Show Biz’; sequins and silks, feathers and champagne on the chaise longue when a glam chap bursts through the elegant doors in the early AM with the first edition papers shouting, “Darling, you’re a hit!”…
The concept was low on practicality, high on escapism. I just needed somewhere a world away from the wellies, the turf, the rain, the bullocks and the mucky gaps I grew up with in rural Sligo. Meanwhile, the only performance experience I was getting was singing to indifferent chickens down the haggard.
It wasn’t until I moved to London in 1987, after doing a degree in Dublin, that I realised I simply had to be on stage. I’ve pretty much been a full time writer/performer ever since, doing everything in those early days from theatre-in-education, street theatre, cabaret, performance art in nightclubs, and that other big C – comedy.
I started on the London circuit in 1989 with two other girls in a sketch trio we called Doris Karloff. That inevitably led to doing stand-up, followed by a scholarship to drama college in London (ALRA), after which I moved back to Dublin, got a break as a writer/performer on a twice-weekly live telly show on RTE called The Gerry Ryan Tonight Show, and then an even bigger break when Sue Collins, Tara Flynn and I came together to form The Nualas.
The whole sequined-wellies, farm-girl super-group vibe of The Nualas, was, in a funny way, all I’d ever wanted. Through multiple line-ups and a few stops and starts The Nualas had an amazing innings. We toured everywhere from New York to Limerick, meeting everyone from Prince Charles to Twink along the way.
We finally hung up our shiny boots just before the pandemic hit. By then in my early 50s, and with a million other ‘showbizzy’ things under my belt, I thought, maybe it’s time to do something sensible. But in a flash it was 1988 all over again! I just had to ‘put on a show’! So I wrote How to Get the Menopause and Enjoy it. It opened on Valentine’s Day in The Viking Theatre, Clontarf, and, darling, it was a hit! We sold out and extended! People said things like ‘This is the funniest show I’ve ever seen!’ and ‘I cried laughing!’. True!
I’ll be in The Whale Theatre on May 27th and 28th. It’s just the beginning of my tour and boy, is it wonderful to be back in the glittery saddle of showbiz, riding around the country on pizzazzy pony of entertainment. The goal: make people wet their pants about the menopause. The result: so far, so good!