Thursday 19 July 2018

'Even eating disorders have their funny moments' - Joanne McNally turns her battle with anorexia and bulimia into comedy

After success in Edinburgh, the funnywoman brings her show 'Bite Me' around Ireland

'If I'd been limping along semi-functionally, I might have just kept going. In a way I am lucky that my situation was so bad I needed treatment.' Photo: Tony Gavin
'If I'd been limping along semi-functionally, I might have just kept going. In a way I am lucky that my situation was so bad I needed treatment.' Photo: Tony Gavin
Jason Kennedy

Jason Kennedy

Entertainer Joanne McNally has turned her fight against an eating disorder into a comedy show, which will tour around Ireland from next week.

The Dublin-born stand up comedian, who has previously been open about her battles with Anorexia and Bulimia, said she found writing the play easy while she was receiving treatment.

"I had a lot of free time when I was in treatment, in-between getting weighed and going to counselling, so I just started writing about what was going on," she told Independent.ie.

"I think I see comedy in pretty much anything and I know there was definitely comedy in losing your mind, which is what I done. I had completely lost my mind.

"Yes, eating disorders are serious, all mental health issues are serious, but it does have its funny moments."

The former Republic Of Telly star (33), who is currently making a documentary about couples who regret having their kids, admits she still finds parts of her show difficult to perform.

Joanne McNally at TV3's new season launch at The National Concert Hall. Picture: Gareth Chaney Collins
Joanne McNally at TV3's new season launch at The National Concert Hall. Picture: Gareth Chaney Collins

"There are parts of the show I find hard to do even at this stage, because when I do the show, I'm back in the situation. I'm sick again, almost. I'm back in hospital.

"It wasn't that long ago and I still remember it so well. It's still kind of raw, I guess, which is why I think the show is strong. It's a very honest, raw kind of show."

Despite this, the comedian, who previously worked for PR company Thinkhouse, said she is thrilled with the reaction 'Bite Me' has garnered so far.

She was left particularly speechless after a young audience member told her after a performance that the show inspired her to seek help for herself.

Joanne McNally. Photo: Patrick Bolger
Joanne McNally. Photo: Patrick Bolger

"That was amazing. It just left me with goosebumps.

"Then there are other people who come and just say that they found it really funny and that's great too," she said.

'Bite Me' kicks off its Irish tour Cork's Everyman Theatre next Wednesday. After this, the show will travel to Bray, Belfast, Dublin and Dún Laoghaire.

For information and support on Anorexia Nervosa or other eating disorders visit www.seechange.ie or www.bodywhys.ie or call the Irish Helpline on: 1890 200 444

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