Following the award-winning success of Discovers Hawaii, Alison Spittle returns to the Dublin Fringe for a one-week run of Worrier Princess at the Bello Bar. In the anticipation of her upcoming RTE television series ‘Nowhere Fast’, things are looking up for Spittle and if Worrier Princess is anything to go by, we are in for a comedic treat. Spittle decorates the interior of the Bello Bar with symbols of her self-defined “kookiness” – a string of pineapple fairy lights hangs above the comedian, while assorted flamingos set the scene. The Bello Bar, much like Spittle, is warm, inviting and without any pretention.
Self-proclaimed “worrier princess”, Spittle navigates the complexities of anxiety, doubt and female sexuality with ease, warmth and hilarity. She is a master of self-deprecation, as she unashamedly embraces her “frigid pride”, as well as regaling the audience with sordid tales from the dodgy teenage discoes of her teenage years. Spittle’s take on the bizarre nature of teenage life in the midlands is hysterical, though nostalgic cringe factor is not a crutch for this comedian. Spittle delves into her newfound level of relative fame with equal hilarity as she comes to terms with failing to pander to a key demographic – fourteen-year old boys.
Spittle captivates her audience from the very opening of her set, and she maintains a steady pace and seamless engagement with the crowd. There are no awkward moments in Spittle’s set, and no punchline falls flat. With honesty and light-heartedness, Spittle keeps her audience laughing out loud. The crowd are responsive to her refreshing take on sexuality and dating, and while Spittle herself is often the butt of her own jokes, her confidence never wavers.
Spittle has made her mark on the Irish comedy scene, and deservedly so. Her subject matter is engaging and unique. Most importantly however, it is apparent that Spittle enjoys herself on stage. Her infectious laughter punctuates the set, and becomes a highlight in itself. Worrier Princess is a master-class in stand-up comedy.
Catch Alison Spittle before she hits the silver screen. Alison Spittle, Worrier Princess at the Bello Bar, until the 17th of September. Show times vary.
by Sarah McKenna Barry