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Gráinne Maguire is campaigning for laughs

Grainne Maguire-f

COMEDIAN Gráinne Maguire hates that there’s no General Election this year, so she’s written a show about it.

If you crack out the drinks and nibbles and prepare for an all-nighter when a General Election comes around then comedian Gráinne Maguire has a stand-up show for you.

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The Co. Meath native is a lover of all things election-related and believes there are many more like her out there.

So with no electoral fun on offer for 2013, the comic has devoted her third full hour at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to the ‘joy and excitement’ of the political event, in Gráinne Maguire’s One Hour All Night Election Special.

But the devoted Labour party member — Maguire opened for Ed Miliband at last year’s Labour Party Conference — claims the show is not ‘politics with a big P’.

“I really love General Elections as they offer the chance of hope and change,” she explains.

“Because there is no is General Election this year, and as we had an American election last year and the European elections next year I thought it could be fun to fill that gap for 2013 and create all the joy and excitement of staying up to watch a General Election.

“I felt I could ease the withdrawal symptoms of all those people who felt they were missing out this year.”

But Maguire’s routine is not really politics as we know it. “It’s not the big P, it’s just a fun show which is a bit silly,” she confirms. “I have looked at how everyday things in your life are a lot like running an election campaign.”

Instead the comic, who writes for Radio 4 and is a regular on its comedy shows, believes the trials and tribulations of day-to-day life are in many ways akin to the pressure and buzz of the campaign trail — whether its vying for a parent’s attention, putting yourself out there to find a mate or taking on a new job.

“What I adore about conferences and politics in general is it’s full of people who care about stuff and want to make a difference,” she explains.

“I really respect anyone involved, as being in politics is such a nerdy, unpopular thing to do, so I feel almost protective of these people.

“But my show looks at how life is like a General Election. So I talk about my competitiveness with my sisters for example. I have two sisters and in a way I felt I was in a General Election with them to get my parents’ attention.

Also, in matters like relationships and stuff you are kind of putting yourself forward in an election as you are putting yourself out there and hoping that the votes tally up.”

She adds: “And when you start a new job, it’s like a new administration.  You think, ‘I have a new job, I’m going to do everything different and my life is going to be amazing.

“I am going to go to the gym before work and drink loads of water at my desk.’ You start off with the best intentions but things don’t always work out like you’ve planned.”

The Election Special marks Maguire’s third full hour at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, although it’s her seventh year taking part.

“I always get nervous for Edinburgh and then remind myself that it is great fun, all your friends are there and you get to see great acts,” the London-based Navan woman admits.

“Every Festival is different, and you never know what to expect when you get on your little train to Scotland, but this is my seventh year and my third hour. I have done smaller 20-minute slots in the past but the last two years I have done a full hour set. This will be my third and I’m looking forward to getting out there.”

Gráinne Maguire’s One Hour All Night Election Night Special is on at the Underbelly venue at Bristol Square in Edinburgh at 2.45pm every day from August 3-25. For further information visit www.grainnemaguire.com.

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Fiona Audley
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Fiona Audley is Managing Editor with The Irish Post. You can follow her on Twitter @fifiaudley

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