A KILDARE town woman has become the fourth Irish person, and the second woman, to win one of Britain’s top comedy awards.
Aisling O’Sullivan, who goes by the name Aisling Bea won the ‘So You Think You’re Funny’ award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
As comedy awards go, only the Edinburgh Comedy Award, formerly known as the Perrier Award, is more prestigious.
Former winners include Peter Kay, Dylan Moran, Lee Mack, Phil Kay, Tommy Tiernan and David O’Doherty, all of whom have gone on to have long and successful careers in comedy.
One of the judges, Ruby Wax, said it was a tough decision but that she had emerged as the stand-out winner. She gets a £2,000 cash prize and a trip to perform at Montreal’s ‘Just For Laughs Festival.’
Following her win, she revealed on Twitter than she had been “overwhelmed”, and had “sat beside the bins (at the venue) had a cry and rang my Mammy”.
28-year old O’Sullivan grew up in Kildare town before attending Trinity to study Philosophy and French.
There she was in group called HBAM a sketch group that had two successful runs in Edinburgh and also toured a two hander character show to Edinburgh and around Ireland with Brona C. Titley.
From there she went to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.
Now based full time in London, she has made a name for herself as an actress, writer and MC.
She is currently appearing as Laura in Dead Boss, a new BBC sitcom with Jennifer Saunders.
She has also appeared in the E4 series Cardinal Burns, The Savage Eye, Come Fly With Me, Belonging To Laura on TV3, Holby City, Fair City, Lewis and the BBC NI sketch show LOL which she also wrote for.
Out later in 2012 is the second series of comedy drama Trivia on RTE, a new sketch show from the Horrible Histories Team, Fit BBC and a three-part ITV drama called The Town which stars Martin Clunes.
As a writer, O’Sullivan has been kept very busy writing for various different projects, some of which she has appeared in.
A versatile artist, she has written sketch comedy in various guises for stage, TV and the internet, contributes many short plays to Phil Nichol’s Comedian’s Theatre Company and she also writes short stories, Miss Bea’s Wee Tales, which she publishes online.
There’s writing in her blood. Aisling’s late grandfather Micheál O’Suilleabháin was the Irish language novelist and poet and her grandaunt Siobháin Ní Shúilleabhain is also a prolific Irish writer and dramatist.
- Conor McHugh