THE first time I saw Brendan O’Carroll on stage, I laughed until I cried. Mrs Agnes Brown had finally made her long-awaited Edinburgh debut. That was in 2008 at the Playhouse.
I found him funny. Still do. Maybe it’s my Dublin roots, but I recognise where much of his humour comes from... not everyone does. Never has a creation been quite so Marmite.
On that opening night, while others wiped tears from their eyes, one of our company sat stoney-faced. Didn’t get it. Another left at the interval, without a good word to say for the entertainment.
Of course, it’s low humour, an art form loved by the masses but despised by many. And yes, Mrs Brown polarises opinion, yet in the five years that Brendan and his family troupe have been touring to the Capital, audiences have grown from just 500 to sell-outs.
In his last visit saw eight performances at the 3000-plus Playhouse filled to capacity. I’m told he could have easily sold another week.
Much of that success is in no small way down to the popularity of the BAFTA Award-winning BBC/RTE coproduction Mrs Brown’s Boys, which has brought Agnes and her clan to the small screen. However, there’s still nothing quite like the live experience.
To give you a taste of that, The Guide had teamed up with Universal to give you the chance to win Mrs Brown’s Boys Live Tour: Good Mourning Mrs Brown on DVD.
To enter the draw email your name, age and address to email@example.com by Sunday midnight with LIVE in the subject line. Good luck.
• Mrs Brown’s Boys Live (15) Tour is released on DVD (£21.99) & Blu-Ray (£26.99) on Monday