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Áine Gallagher: Are You Well? Interview

Áine Gallagher first came to our attention at the 2014 Funny Women Awards, where her eccentric comedy style earned her runner up! Now Áine is bringing her second solo show, Are You Well? to Edinburgh Fringe. If you’ve been searching for show about feelings, maths and how to express yourself effectively using graphs… look no further. We talked to Áine about her show, Irish humour and using comedy to talk about her cervix…

Kate Stone: Tell us about your show Are You Well?
Áine Gallagher: It’s a show about feelings and maths. Is any more explanation required? It’s basically a deadpan approach that aims to develop better ways to talk about our feelings and be more confident to be ourselves. It’s still coming together, but I’m really excited about the Fringe and feel/hope it’s all going to click while I’m there. Ultimately, I want to develop a way we can all express ourselves effectively using graphs. I think it’s the way forward for emotional intelligence.
KS: You’ve been described as ‘queen of the offbeat’ did this title come as a surprise to you?
ÁG: That title is a gift. It really helps to give a one-line description and let people know what they’re getting themselves in for with my comedy. I was definitely surprised because it’s such a positive description, I think as a comedian we’re always surprised when nice things are said about us. That self-deprecating nature never goes away, unfortunately.
KS: Do you think that Irish and English humour differs much?
ÁG: Yes. The differences can be very subtle, but it’s definitely different. I actually don’t know how to describe it without insulting my own culture! Slagging and making fun is an inherent part of who we are, especially making fun of ourselves. While it’s great, it can deter us from ever talking about real things! I think English humour is less self-deprecating.
KS: How did you get into comedy?
ÁG: My sense of humour has always been an integral part of who I am. I got into it in quite an organic way, I never watched or followed a huge amount of comedy, I just got a feeling when I was about 22 that I wanted to do it. It’s really interesting to think about it now, eight years later. I realise that it’s always been a form of self-expression for me. I’m passionate about promoting inclusion and well-being for everyone, my professional background is in health promotion and sociology. I can see trends in my material as I’ve used socially awkward comedy to challenge social norms or to talk about my cervix. You know, whatever is most important for me at the time. It’s interesting how it all starts with you just wanting to make people laugh and then you realise, ‘oh, but my jokes are related to things I wish we would talk about more’. It’s exciting to see how it’s developing for me as an individual.
KS: Who are your favourite funny women? 

ÁG: Síle Gallagher my sister, Eithne Gallagher my mum, Sarah Millican, Maeve Higgins, Alison Spittle… I could go on. The circuit in Ireland is also spoilt with amazing female acts and seeing the launch of Funny Women Ireland and the number of women doing comedy, it’s obvious that we’re in an exciting time.

Áine Gallagher: Are You Well? is at Banshee Labyrinth at 14:30 from 4th – 26th August. For tickets click here!