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Stars review: Moments of pathos interwoven with clever, dark humour

Dublin Fringe Festival 2023: Hannah Mamalis plays a multitude of characters in her hilarious and absurdist solo show


Project Arts Centre

The drum rolls and the spotlight shines on the red velvet curtains draped on stage at the Project Arts Centre. Then the drum rolls again. And again. And again, until the audience is in stitches of laughter before our comedian even appears in front of us.

This sets the tone for Hannah Mamalis’s new, hilarious and absurdist 60-minute solo show.

Mamalis plays a multitude of sketch characters, from an Italian American man, to a dog, a puppet, a person from prehistoric times, and an old woman with a dark secret, and a talent which enables her to tell what your demise will be by looking into your eyes and deep into your soul – “no, not how you’ll die. Much worse than that: how you’ll be cancelled.”

“Nobody in the front row escapes,” one of her characters laughs, making her way through the crowd for some painfully funny audience participation.


“We are all in the gutters. We’ve been here for a while and we’ve been waiting for you,” reads part of the brief for this show, and it turns out being in the gutters can be pretty entertaining.

The characters we encounter in Stars take us with them on monologues about existential crises, unrequited love and even a disciplinary meeting with HR, in which Rumpelstiltskin manages to make an appearance.

There are moments of pathos interwoven with clever, dark humour, and Mamalis’s stage presence makes Stars a truly memorable experience.

Continues at the Project Arts Centre, as part of Dublin Fringe Festival, until 23rd September

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson is a reporter for The Irish Times