Last night Dublin’s Helix Theatre came alive as a sea of teenyboppers swept in to see the phenomenon that is Jedward.  I, like the good Mammy that I am, brought my daughter and her friend and didn’t even sneak to the bar once (honestly!).  I knew it was going to be an entertaining night from the moment I walked into the foyer and realised that almost every child was either wearing cardboard cut-out hair or had their own locks coiffed up in honour of the twins.

After much anticipation, the duo made their entrance from the back of the theatre, donning Rocky style robes and running up through the aisles.  They delighted the miniature audience by launching straight into The Black Eyed Peas ‘Tonight’s Gonna be a Good Night’ and had everyone on their feet straight away.

Now if you go to a Jedward concert expecting fantastic vocals and complicated, choreographed dance routines, you’ll be sorely disappointed.  Just as we saw on the X Factor, the music often completely swallowed their voices and when we could actually hear the vocals, one wonders if they were just lip-synced.

But nobody can deny the energy the Lucan boys bring to their performance.  They darted about the stage as though fitted with springs, bouncing rather than dancing and managed to change costumes regularly between songs.  They treated us to Britney Spears ‘Oops I did it again’ in their trademark shiny, red jackets and donned white suits for ‘Under Pressure’.  They even remembered us dedicated parents in the audience by bringing us back in time with ‘Bye Bye Baby’ by the Bay City Rollers and giving us an eighties dose of a Wham medley.  Between you and me, I may have even guiltily tapped my feet.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the highlight of the evening was when they appeared in their jumpsuits, armed with water guns, to give us the most hilarious rendition of Ghost Busters.  They even managed to look scared as the dancer ghosts appeared on stage.  But the brave duo blasted them with their pretend pistols before giving each other a delighted high five!  Priceless!

You’d have to admire these two young boys who are simply living their dream.  They’ve kept their heads high despite all the negativity that was thrown at them in the early days of their X Factor journey and have certainly come out on top.  The screams of the youngsters last night said it all and, without a doubt, they brought a smile to my face.  The Mammy in me wanted to rush up to the stage to tie their laces in case they’d trip on the steps but that aside, it was a thoroughly entertaining evening.  

You can see details of the twins’ nationwide tour at And however tempted you might be, don’t leave your children to their seats and retire to the bar – go and see the show.  You might surprise yourself and actually have some fun.

Maria xx



On Thursday last I had the great pleasure of attending Edinburgh playhouse, where the wonderfully funny Brendan O’Carroll was back as Mrs Brown. 

‘For the Love of Mrs Brown’ (part four of the trilogy!) follows the antics of Mrs Brown and her unconventional family.  In this instalment, Valentine’s Day is approaching and Agnes Brown is beginning to feel lonely.  Her family decide that she needs to get herself a date and she agrees to give it a try.  They find her a man on the internet called ‘Hairy Harry’ and the hilarious Mammy is determined to do all she can to make the date special.  She decides she needs to go on a radical diet if she’s to fit into her special floral dress and even gets her hands on a book to teach herself some modern sex positions.

From conversations about ‘organisms’ and boob jobs to Agnes inadvertently clicking on ‘dial-a-dick’ instead of ‘dial-a-date’ on her computer, this show is side-splittingly funny from start to finish.  My sides actually ached from laughing throughout, but when Brendan began to ad-lib (which he does often during the show) the level of hysteria in the audience was taken to a whole new level. 

But it’s not just Brendan who makes the show so special.  The whole cast (which includes his lovely wife Jenny who plays his daughter Cathy) is wonderfully talented and each of them is integral to the success of the show.  One of the things that makes the show so special is that the audience can see that each and every one of the people on stage is having a good time.

Mrs Brown is presently touring in the UK and you’ll find details of dates and locations at  Go on – grab yourself a ticket.  You’d be mad not to.


When we think of Keith Barry, magician extraordinaire, we think of tricks, hypnotism and mind games.  He is a world master at what he does, receiving the Merlin Award (the Oscars of the magic world) for Mentalist of the Year in 2009.  He’s performed tricks for some of Hollywood’s biggest A list celebrities, including Colin Farrell, Samuel L Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Harrison Ford and numerous others.  He’s hosted his own TV show on MTV and headlined in Planet Hollywood in Los Vegas.  He’s wowed us with unbelieveable stunts such as catching a bullet in between his teeth, making it snow in Dublin and driving at top speed in a public street while blindfolded.

So why then am I writing about him on a blog about laughter?  Well let me tell you, I’ve been to his latest show, The Asylum, twice in the last couple of months and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much in my life.  Keith not only performs the most wonderful and mind boggling stunts and tricks, but delivers them with such humour that I defy anyone not to laugh their way through the show.  His quick wit and endearing way with his volunteers is wonderful to watch and leaves the audience always wanting more.

During the second half of the show, he hypnotises fifteen or so people on the stage.  Ten minutes into the hypnosis, I began to regret having such a big meal beforehand as my stomach was aching so much from laughing.  He wowed the audience by making his volunteers play instruments that weren’t really there, speak in martian, forget their names and even gave orgasms to both men and women just by shaking their hands.  Honestly, the whole room was in hysterics – I’ve never seen an audience to laugh so much.

So if you’re looking for laughs and want a great night out, go to see Keith Barry’s Asylum.  You’ll find details of his Irish nationwide tour on Go on; give those belly muscles a work out.  You won’t regret it.


It's contagious!

How many times have you laughed today? 

We all know the wonderful feeling we get when we have one of those great big belly laughs.  You know the ones that give you a stitch in your side and burst open the floodgates in your eyes.   Why then do we not do it more often?  Even without scientific facts, it’s obvious that laughter is good for us; makes us feel happy and lightens our mood.

Laughter is also known to have some physical effects on our bodies; it can reduce blood pressure, relieve stress and strengthen the immune system.  It can even act as a pain killer, releasing endorphins into the body which act as a distraction from pain.

A child of around four or five years old laughs on average of 400 times a day.  How wonderful is that?  But we, as mature adults, unfortunately lose that ability as we get older, laughing only 4-6 times on average a day.  Shocking isn’t it?

Laughter doesn’t cost anything.  It’s wholesome, natural, free from artificial preservetives and additives, doesn’t require batteries and is non-polluting. 

Find things that make you laugh, surround yourself in people who make you laugh and share the laughter with others.  Please take a look around the site and share your comments.  In the words of E E Cummings; ‘The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.’  So go on, give it a go!