Monday, August 8, 2011

EDINBURGH 2011: MARY BOURKE

Today, it's the turn of Mary Bourke.

Born in Dublin, Mary started out her professional life as a burlesque dancer in San Francisco before moving into comedy more than a decade ago.

Described by one journalist as being "like an emerald in a cowpat", Mary's soft-spoken and often deadpan humour is equal parts incisive, intelligent, and erudite - yet she's unafraid to aim both barrels at the rich and famous (and even some of her comedy contemporaries) and let fly with some ferocious and highly observant putdowns.

As well as being "co-conspirator" of The Fortnight Club at London's New Red Lion in City Road, where up to a dozen established comedians (often including a big name or two) try out new material, Mary is also very much in demand on the comedy and festival circuits on both sides of the Atlantic.

However, 2011 sees Mary becoming one of the year's most experienced Edinburgh debutants, as her show Mary Mary Quite Contrary, which features a gameshow section tantalisingly entitled Tweet or Delete, marks her solo debut at the Fringe. It's free, and takes place at 16:00 every day until August 29th at The Street, 2b Picardy Place (the venue gets minus ten points for making their website inaccessible to the general public - fix that 403 error, barman).

Still, there's more info on the show on the official Fringe website here: http://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/mary-mary-quite-contrary.

One assumes it's because of this popularity that clips of Mary in action on the web are few and far between - after all, if you've a full diary of bookings, why bother with the more frustrating and time-consuming elements of social networking like the rest of us when you can just get out there and be seen by the public in the flesh (as it were)?

However, we did find this rare TV clip of Mary from a few years back, appearing on ITV4's FHM Stand-up Hero, which serves as a perfect taster of her irresistable style. (Trust me: my mate Tony loves her act, and he's a difficult bugger to please.)


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