Born in New York to an Irish Catholic immigrant family, Maureen Langan has been brought up to think that traditional values matter, and that life rewards hard work. Yet in America where the most successful women are avatars of the erstwhile Kim Kardashian, Maureen wonders whether every girl with any ambitions these days should simply leave school and make sex tapes instead.
Undoubtedly talented, and on another day or another place, she would have the crowd on their feet.
Maureen proceeds by comically blaming her conservative parents for bringing her up in the traditional way, thus thwarting her path to fame and fortune (it is now, as she says, too late to start over again), before she lays fingers on American society for the current state of things. Her act is a healthy mix of observational comedy and anecdotal material, always done with a rebellious edge of protest that is fun to watch.
Maureen is rather likeable as a comedian: she has an infectious personality and is persuasive with her act. Some of the her jokes, however, did not elicit much response; her robust act errs on the side of exaggeration for a British audience more used to subtler humour. It is difficult for American comedians to translate their comedy here. For the same reason, her frequent impersonations of the New York Bronx accent, while good, did not go down nearly as well as her Irish ones.
A lot of her stand-up show is invested in pointing at the absurd changes that American society has undergone in the past generation. As such, the fun becomes self-serving at times, given that America has probably gone much further down the road than this country ever did in terms of the degeneracy that she does so well to describe.
As I walk out of the venue, the person in front of me shook her hands and told her ‘you are so much better than the audience’. And this is true. She is undoubtedly talented, and on another day or another place, she would have the crowd on their feet.