Review: Katie Mulgrew

Katie Mulgrew (Happily Ever After). Pic: Comp

Katie Mulgrew (Happily Ever After). Pic: Comp

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IN her second solo Fringe show, Katie Mulgrew explores female expectations through the prism of the Disney princess. She is one, of course, and has the crown to prove it. She even married her handsome prince earlier this year. Now they’re hunkering down for the ‘happily ever after’ part.

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GILDED BALLOON, TEVIOT

But wait, what the heck does it actually entail? Storybooks and films never tell you that. And what if you’re a princess who’s a bit gobby and socially maladroit? Who likes a drink – or twelve?

Mulgrew talks us through her childhood as the youngest in a big Catholic family, recalls a night at the Witchery when she discovered that – shock horror – a Martini is all alcohol, and riffs on what it would be like if Disney princesses were British, with all the cringe that entails.

All of this makes for solid, if not breathtakingly original material, but Mulgrew’s gifts – to her career and to her audiences – are personality and stage presence. She works the venue as effortlessly as if it is her front room and she is merely bantering with close personal friends. The lady is unflappable and unafraid to flash her steel.

When a group of immature teachers acted more childishly than their pupils would ever dare to – shouting out, blowing punchlines – she handled them immediately, effectively, and without losing her smile, warning them that she’s a veteran of the northern club circuit and would happily sink her fangs into their jugulars if pushed.

Mulgrew had her work cut out for her during the hour keeping them in check while delivering her act, and she did it with all the expertise of a seasoned performer.

Mulgrew deserves our respect and our attendance. She’s a delight.

Run ends Sunday