Katie Mulgrew: Happily Ever After

Katie Mulgrew’s show about Disney Princesses is exceedingly well suited to her venue, The Turret at Gilded Balloon. She’s even decorated the space with shimmery pink drapery to create what I and every other five-year-old would call a ‘princess bed’. It suits her sweetened form of stand-up to a t.

There are a few old jokes snuck in among the pop culture as well – they go down well, but with a knowing laugh from everyone.

Mulgrew’s set is very clearly – at points too clearly – structured around the Disney patented Happily Ever After. For Mulgrew, that’s her life with her husband, Lee, and the future they’ll have together. A budding mother is hinted at in her rapport with her niece, Lorelai, who is a repeated guest in the set, through anecdotes and even the odd recorded interview. It’s all rather charming and makes her edgier moments – pretty much any time she veers into talking about her Northern Irish family – that much more amusing. I’d have liked a little more of the caustic Irish Catholicism to counterbalance the cute, if I’m honest, but the show still works as a whole.

Disney as a topic is fairly accessible, although older audiences might struggle with references to the Disney Renaissance films. When she strays away from the big D, however, it’s into a patchwork of references which she admits generally work for only one or two audience members at a time. You can see the same scattergun approach in her intro, a very clever compilation of soundbites that nonetheless requires a lot of work on the part of the audience. There are a few old jokes snuck in among the pop culture as well – they go down well, but with a knowing laugh from everyone.

Mulgrew’s a very endearing presence, especially in front of a small audience; she dedicates jokes to individuals, going so far as to explain them (and then explain the explanation) to uncomprehending punters. I watched her ask an older couple in the front row to adopt her, and I think they struggled to say no. If she repeats her phrases a little too often, padding out the show, it’s a forgivable misstep. With a little more variation and a greater glimpse of her cynical side, Mulgrew will be a Belle on the ball.

Reviews by Frankie Goodway

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Katie Mulgrew kinda thinks she's a real life Disney princess. She even found her Prince Charming and married him in a massive frock. Now according to Disney philosophy, she's found her happily ever after. Brilliant! Now bloody what? Warning: may contain high levels up optimism, cynicism and some foul-mouthed enchanted objects. ‘Sometimes silly, sometimes touching, this is a very strong Fringe debut.’ **** (EdFestMag.com). ‘An absolute natural stand up, unpretentious and hugely likeable, and a great writer’ **** (LondonIsFunny.com).