August 30, 2011
Having won Foster's Comedy Award for best newcomer at last year's fringe, Roisin Conaty's profile has been steadily rising for the last 12 months with high profile TV appearances on Dave's One Night Stand and Russell Howard's Good News bringing her out of the clubs and into the living rooms of British comedy fans. With so much positive press I was really up for getting a refreshing female perspective from a Festival that can often feel a little 'testosterone-y'.
And Conaty doesn't disappoint, immediately putting the audience at lease with her genuine, frothy and quite adorable personality. I don't want to sound like a patronising grandma figure, but I did have the urge to give her a big cuddle. Though she appeared to be suffering a bit from festival fatigue (or a savage hangover) Conaty still managed to exude warmth and likeability between gulps of lucozade (definitely a hangover.) Despite the plaudits and recent TV slots, Roisin seemed a little unconfident and unsure of herself at times which was completely unjustified; she has a great talent for going off script with her tales of traveling and hen weekends, and I could happily listen to her go off on these tangents all evening.
In fact, you almost wish she would have thrown away the script and just carried on with her pleasurable babbling; it was charming, full of character and really funny. Conaty dashed through her routine like she was on a bit of mission and she didn't seem to every really relax while she was 'on message.' That being said, her material was refreshing and certainly made the audience laugh but why hold back? She clearly has a great connection to people, and it's a shame we didn't get to see more of it.
With that in mind, it's easy to see Conaty working incredible well as an MC or compere at an event. Great for rousing a crowd with her observations on life and her willingness to be self-deprecating; all done without descending into clichéd self-pity. Can't wait to see what she does next!