Somebody needs to get Ryan Tubridy out of the Late Late show hot seat, and get Blaithin De Burca in.
Actually scratch that. ‘Blá Blá Blá’ felt nothing like Ireland’s longest running chat show. It was much more at ease with itself. Much more comfortable.
If anything, Blaithin exuded more of a femme fatale Graham Norton type of energy. Everything about her presence, how she engaged with her guest, and her humor felt so seamless, quick-witted, and well-timed.
Nestled in the upstairs bar of Drop Dead Twice, Blaithin welcomes all her guests to a living room style set. Complete with a pink furry rug, coffee table and sofa, Blaithin succeeds in creating a post-sesh atmosphere (something she candidly points out at the top of the show that she was aiming for).
A quick opening piece about a recently failed relationship sets the tone of the show. She explains how the dismantling of the romance was due to differences in religious belief. Or rather, his strong held faith, and her…. lack of.
Immediately, we know who this girl is.
She then welcomes her three guests. Each person, who had been handpicked by Blaithin, represented a different minority group in Irish society. In fact, every evening, three different people will join Blaithin on stage – creating a different discussion and show each time.
For opening night, she brings on Avoca Reaction, a non-binary drag performer; Ola Majekodumi, known for creating the Youtube video ‘What Does Irishness Looks Like’; and Phillippa Ryder, a transwoman. who began her transition in the late 90’s.
Each guest engages in a chat about what identity means to them and how the landscape of Irish society has changed.
The discussion, done for educational purposes, never feels preachy. It seeks to inform people, who may hold some or all of the privilege cards (such as being white, straight, cis, male etc.) about how to recongise their place to speak out, and what they can do to help break down the ignorant attitudes of their peers.
‘Blá Blá Blá’ is a funny and lighthearted social lesson that we desperately need more of.
Review by Kevin Worrall