Deirdre O’Kane says she has ‘made peace with the menopause’

Deirdre O'Kane

Niamh McGovern

While she was at first hesitant about talking about the menopause in her stand-up show Demented, comedian Deirdre O’Kane (55) says women going through this period of their lives are at their best mentally and in their prime.

Speaking to the RTÉ Guide, Kane said: "I don’t think anyone is dying to talk about it. Nobody is dying to broadcast this but that makes me very happy.

"Also, I know there really is no room for vanity in stand-up comedy. It’s a very open, honest art form. There’s nowhere to hide and if you do try to hide, that will come across.

"Once I made peace with the menopause – it took me a while now, because I’ve plenty of personal vanity – but once I realised it’s 2022, as it was, is this really a thing? Are we still making a thing about this? When I realised that, I thought this is ridiculous. Women need to take this back and own it."

She said the menopause has traditionally been seen as a source of shame and "a feeling of it’s over for you, I’m an old boot now – get out of the way."

However she said women are actually in their prime at this stage in their lives.

"We’re at our best now, mentally. I think, yes, there are obviously massive downsides to it, but it’s actually a very good time of life as well,” she added.

While happy to discuss the menopause, it is not something she necessarily wants to continue to dwell on.

"Truthfully, I’m over it because I’ve been talking about it for a year so I’m a little bit 'move on now Dee’ but I realise it’s important and it’s having a zeitgeist moment and that’s good."

When putting her shows together she says she holds back “very little”. In her show she discusses her father, who died four years ago, saying that speaking about him is “very therapeutic”.

Meanwhile Kane’s daughter Holly is now heading to drama school, something she attempted to talk her daughter out of.

“I did my best to steer her out of the industry, I did everything I could. But it’s in the walls, there’s no avoiding it. I have hopes for my son that he’ll get a salaried job,” she joked.

Kane hosted the 2023 IFTAs at the Dublin Royal Convention Centre on May 7.

She is herself is a six-time IFTA nominee and was awarded Best Lead Actress (Film) in 2015 for her role as children’s rights campaigner Christina Noble in the 2014 film Noble.