Luisa Omielan celebrates 10 years of comedy
This year, the year of the MAC's 10th birthday, comedian Luisa Omielan helps us celebrate with her new show Ten.
Let’s start with the important question: will you be bringing Bernie your Bernese Mountain dog on the tour? 🙏 The story of how you two got together is beautiful. She sounds amazing.
Ahhh I would LOVE to bring Bernie out to Belfast, the trick is how to get her on the plane, I feel like it's kinda impossible. Bernie is a legend and is normally at all my shows and it's disappointing as she is very Belfast so the one city she would suit, is definitely yours, she is incredibly friendly, incredibly loyal and loves nothing more than a good time. If I can find a boat, I’ll bring her!
So, 10 years since you “broke out” with your show What would Beyoncé do?! (named “one of the biggest stand-up hits of the decade” by The Guardian) What did you break out of and was it painful?
Hahhaah I broke out of working 3 different jobs a day to being able to work just one. So, you know I love you (Belfast) right? I have been in comedy since I was like 19 and I'm 39 now and one of my favourite ever ever shows, was my first WWBD?! in Belfast MAC. These girls came up to me afterwards and were like ‘what you doing now?’
‘er going home’
Absolutely not, you’re coming out with us. They took me on a pub crawl, I had the time of my life, they fisted my giant hoop earrings and got me a Chinese on the way home. I love BELFAST, I hate the UK gov and how it’s treated you, Belfast for me is one of the best cities in the world and if I ever get married, I'm having my hen do in you, okay?
So yes I broke out and I found Belfast.
Your show Politics for Bitches was developed into a BBC series in which you explored political issues in the UK. How important is politics to your comedy and how important is comedy in politics?!
Oh god Very, comedy we need in politics. If people are laughing they are more easily manipulated. Jokes. You know yourselves, in the darkest of times, we laugh the hardest. Politics is dark, so dark and cruel right now and we need comedy, not just to make things accessible and understandable but for some relief.
I never cared for politics before, never paid attention, it was a different world, I find the whole ritual of parliament and MPS a saga and just bollocks, it’s a façade. It still is very alien to me but I think the MPS, work for us, we pay taxes, we have a right to have a say over how they are spending our money, I get angry and frustrated and I don’t know what I can do or how I can help, I hate seeing life be so hard for so many, I despise the disrespect, the way the UK has treated Northern Ireland and dealt with Brexit, it's insulting to the men and women of the past but also of the present, who have sacrificed so much for the peace we currently have. It's insulting.
And what's even more heartbreaking, is, it’s a choice. It’s a political choice, whether it's Brexit, or NHS or the poverty and hunger we are going to see this winter due to cost of living. It's man-made and politicians could stop it at any time. At any time we could implement policies that are fair and help people. But they don’t. It disgusts me. All I can do in my little corner of the world is make jokes about them and get people who weren’t engaged before, to maybe feel a little bit more empowered and involved than they currently do.
What have you been most proud of in your stand-up career?
Probably still being in it for this long. When I started there would be loads of new comics, often men, telling me how to do jokes and how to say them and to change my material. I am glad I never listened, Despite feeling like the hot young thing ten years ago, I'm glad I'm still here, my work paved a way and it was exciting, and even though I am older now and plodding along, I'm still f**king here and I still get to do it, after loss, after grief, after the pandemic, am still getting to go to my favourite places and do my favourite shows. That makes me happy.
You’re known for your party atmosphere style of comedy. For the novices out there, can you tell us a bit more about that and for everyone, where does that part of your shows stem from?
I used to find watching stand-up boring, there are only so many one-liners you can watch, BUT a night out with your mates would be mega, hilarious, fun, raucous, dancing, crying, laughing. I wanted that audience, that kind of show, so I made them. I made them a night out, an event, a show-show. Come, I don’t know what you will expect but I will expect you to laugh, cry, laugh, get on your feet and leave the room wanting to conquer the world.
What can our audience expect from Ten, your new show coming to the MAC on 24 September?
Ah am excited, well it's snippets from old shows, it's jokes that people love and request, so it's old stuff, I don’t know how it's gonna work, as do I really need to do s*cking d*ck jokes after a one night stand at the age of 39, yes yes I do. Living the dream bitches. Don’t worry, I have matured, so I’ll add some stuff on baking in there too. Baking some eggs, am I right ladies?! No. never mind.