Ten Questions With Up And Coming Queer Comedian Aoife O'Connor

In advance of her Vodafone Comedy Festival debut, queer comedian Aoife O'Connor talks the importance of LGBTQ+ comedy, the Dublin comedy scene and her Vodafone must-sees.


Popping up as part of the Workman’s Comedy Club  this Sunday at the Vodafone Comedy Festival, Aoife O’Connor is bound to take home the gold medal for funniest comedian. By winning or stealing. Either or.

A finalist in the Irish stage of the 2018 Funny Women Competition and set to play the upcoming first ever all-female stage at Electric Picnic, Aoife is making a name for herself on the Irish comedy scene one vowel at a time. Aoife found time to pop by GCN Towers before the big gig and fill us in on all things funny.

1. Hey Aoife! Tell us who you are in one sentence, if you please.

I’m a very short, very gay, partially blind comedian.

2. What is your unique selling point in comedy?

Well, I suppose my comedy is about my life and experiences, but I guess that’s all comedy. I’m hoping that people can relate to that along the way. I talk a lot about where I’m from- the arse end of nowhere in Donegal- and what it was like growing up there and not fitting in.

Something that I’ve been exploring is talking openly and joking about grief and how we cope with it through comedy. There’s something obscenely funny about how terribly people react to tragedy and loss, I’m sort of in love with the idea of exploring that and seeing how other people relate to it.

Then, of course, there’s the gay thing. When I started comedy I was still questioning my sexuality, but I’m two years in now and fairly confident in my identity so it’s fun to get to talk about that openly in front of strangers. Loudly. In denim.

Wicked Dublin MPU

3. Who inspired you to get into this funny business?

Ah! There are so many! There are some unreal Irish women like Maeve Higgins and Aisling Bea who’ve been flying the flag for us funny Irish ladies for years (Is that the name of our club? Absolutely). Then there are people like Gilda Radner and Madeline Kahn who are just transcendentally funny. Can I just say all funny women? Okay, all funny women.

4. Tell us something people don’t know about you.

I’m actually just two five year-old’s on each others shoulders wearing a convincing fake mustache and a trench coat. Surprise!

5. Why do you think queer comedy is important?

Comedy is all about perspective. Having visible queer performers out there means that we’re representing communities and showing real diversity on our stages. If you’re queer and you go to a gig where there just so happens to be a queer act on stage, it’s such a great feeling! It’s like ‘Look! My people!’ That feeling of being represented, it’s so vitally important.

I think it’s probably the same reason that I’ve watched Carol 500 times. I can relate to it more than I could ever relate to Notting Hill.

6. Where are you favourite places to play in Dublin?

I love Cherry Comedy in Whelans on Monday nights! It’s always such a fun gig and it’s where I started doing this comedy business in the first place. The Comedy Crunch, the Workman’s Comedy Club and the Comedy Cellar in the International are lovely spots as well.

7. If you weren’t a comedian what you be?

A bird. Definitely a bird.

8. What can we expect from your upcoming Vodafone Comedy Festival debut?

There will be confetti. Maybe some up-close magic. Possibly a tiger? And maybe a few jokes as well.

9. Who are you most excited to see play this year’s festival?

There are always so many fantastic comedians playing Vodafone, but I still can’t believe Kate Berlant AND John Early are playing this year. I’ve been watching their stuff for years, so they’re an absolute must see for me. There are some incredible Irish performers I’m excited for too, people like Sarah Devereaux, Catherine Bohart, Laura Byrne, Julie Jay, Ruth Hunter and Conor O’Toole, Pauline Shanahan, Eve Darcy…the list goes on but honestly, there’s just so many brilliant people playing.

10. Where else can people catch you this Summer?

After Vodafone I’ll be playing Electric Picnic’s first all-female line-up, so that’s pretty exciting! You can catch me gigging around Dublin, and honestly I spend a lot of time walking up and down the aisles of Marks & Spencers on Grafton Street looking for yellow sticker deals, so you can catch me there always.

Don’t miss Aoife O’Connor at the Laughter Lab at 4:30 pm on Sunday, 29th July as part of the Workman’s Comedy Club at the Vodafone Comedy Festival.

© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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