‘I’m gay’ - what would Agnes Brown make of it all

BRENDAN CARROLL AS AGNES BROWN, EILISH  O'CARROLL AS WINNIE MCGOOGAN
BRENDAN CARROLL AS AGNES BROWN, EILISH O'CARROLL AS WINNIE MCGOOGAN

You’re probably more used to seeing her wearing a housecoat, hair in curlers, having a cup of tea with her cross dressing brother.

But Eilish O’Carroll is so much more than the loyal best friend of the hugely proper Agnes Brown - Winnie McGoogan.

Eilish O'Carroll

Eilish O'Carroll

A stand-up in her own right Eilish will be at the Waterside Theatre on Friday night with her show ‘Live, Love Laugh.’

The show looks at Eilish’s own strict Catholic upbringing, her two failed marriages and how she came out as a lesbian when she turned 50.

“I’d never even met a lesbian,” said Eilish, “and then I found out I was one. I didn’t even know what it meant.

“I started writing about my life and it all became very revealing. It was only when I started verbalising it all that I realised we all have the same insecurities and hang ups about ourselves.”

Eilish O'Carroll will be at the Waterside Theatre on Friday night.

Eilish O'Carroll will be at the Waterside Theatre on Friday night.

Leaving her husband and moving in with a woman when she was 50 wasn’t in the life plan for Eilish.

“If a fortune teller told me I’d become a lesbian when I turned 50 I’d have told them they were mad,” she said.

“But here I am. Thankfully I’m at an age when I couldn’t give a s*** what people think about me.

“In the show I describe how I made my first step in the lesbian world. I had never even met a lesbian. I didn’t know what it meant.”

Fresh from the win at the National Television awards last week Eilish says she now has a long break from Mrs Brown’s Boys, a perfect time to go on the road with her one woman show.

“I’ve been with Mrs Brown’s Boys twenty years,” she said. “I love the moments that Agnes and Winnie have together on screen, there’s a real connection.

“I don’t see Brendan as Agnes, I just see Agnes. And I know he sees me as Winnie.

“Agnes is funny, but Brendan is even funnier.

“He’s always trying to catch us off guard so we don’t know what’s coming next.

“I think that’s part of the charm of the show.

“His physical comedy is amazing, that’s the stuff he doesn’t write - he simply says ‘follow my lead’ and I don’t know what is coming next. You can’t script that.

“We film in front of a live audience and they feel part of the show. That’s why we keep some of the mistakes in, they love it.

“Mrs Brown gave me the courage to get out there and do my own show but the nerves are still there. Every night is like the first night.”

And Eilish says she has never been happier.

“I’m living life now the way it should be lived. But I’m catching up with Winnie these days. Normally I can go out and not get recognised, but the older I get the harder it is to escape Winnie.”

Eilish says to expect plenty of laughter on Friday night.

“It’s a rollercoaster ride of one woman’s story,” she said. “There’s even a little bit of music with two songs I wrote myself. “

But be warned the show is not suitable for anyone under 16.

‘Live Love Laugh’ will be performed at The Waterside Theatre on Friday 6th February. Tickets £15.00/£12.50 concession including development donation. Telephone the Box Office for tickets on 028-71 31-4000 or book online at www.watersidetheatre.com