The Accidental Activist – dlr Mill Theatre, Dublin

Reviewer: Emma Devlin

Writer and Director: Diane O’Connor

Diane O’Connor comes to the Mill in Dundrum to perform an hour long set about the climate crisis and what we can do about it. It’s clear this is a topic very close to O’Connor’s heart; she speaks about how the thought of her children’s future has made something already important to her all the more relevant, and she highlights plenty of issues from rampant consumerism to the media’s lack of coverage of climate related disasters. Although she may have come to the title of activist accidentally, it certainly suits her.

It’s difficult to review a comedy show on what must have been quite an off night for the performer. O’Connor took to the stage with great energy and dealt swiftly with some drunken hecklers, but the show lost momentum early on and continued to flatten right to the end. Part of the problem may be the confused tone; the show veers close to educational hour, call to action, and comedy set, but unfortunately it fails to hit any of those marks, at least on this particular evening.

O’Connor does come across as passionate about her cause, and there are certainly some observations and quips that get the audience tittering. Perhaps most noticeable is how well she deals with the crowd; her audience interactions are natural and she is a very personable performer. Her ability to work through the full set despite the off night is also commendable; she is obviously comfortable enough on the stage to make it through the awkwardness, and she still manages to convince the crowd into a chant to end the show – bringing some energy back to the room. These positives give the impression that it would be interesting to see her on a better night to catch the full potential of the show.

Reviewed on May 12th2023.

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