Have a laugh with Nuala this summer

The last year has been a difficult one for everyone, and especially for those working in the world of arts and entertainment.

Nuala McKeever
Nuala McKeever

But, as the old adage goes, if you didn’t laugh you would cry. So take a humorous look back over the last year of lockdown with Northern Irish comedian Nuala McKeever, who will be making an appearance at the Open House Festival this summer.

Throughout August a host of famous names will be paying a visit to the Walled Garden in Bangor for the popular Open House Festival. From music to comedy, literature to film, there is something for everyone.

Nuala McKeever, who will be performing her new stand-up show ‘Unlocked’, has been making audiences laugh and think for over 25 years. Her TV appearances include the comedy shows Give My Head Peace and McKeever. She has written and performed in five plays, is a regular replacement host on BBC Radio Ulster’s Lynette Fay Show, and completed her first novel in the summer of 2020.

On New Year’s Eve 2019, She wrote in her diary: “2020 is gonna be my year! I’m going to stop sitting in the house, get out, travel, meet new people and find love again!” And the Universe said, “Uh uh...”

So, what did happen? Join Nuala as she reflects on the ups and downs of the weirdest year ever. From the joy of overdosing on banana bread, to the challenge of snogging with a face mask on, nothing is sacred as NI’s Queen of Comedy unlocks the funny side of lockdown.

“That’s what my show is about,” she explained. “It was the weirdest of years. There was no work in theatre but I did finish my first novel. I started working on it in 2007 and managed about 30,000 words but then I went into a play. Every January, when there isn’t much work, I always do a bit and then last May I decided it was time to finish it. It is with the publisher now and there has been great feedback from the first draft.”


Lockdown has been different for everyone and Nuala admits: “I don’t have the most social life. I live on my own and I wasn’t partying anyway. At the start the time flew by but the last lockdown since Christmas was difficult.”

Having devoured everything she could find on Netflix, from Blown Away to Next in Fashion and plenty in between, Nuala realised how important stories are to people and wants to share those stories in her new stand up show, which will take a look at the lighter side of lockdown life. “It will be my usual mixture of laughing at us all,” she admitted. “It is about taking the raw material of life and trying to make other people laugh, It is the only thing that makes things bearable.”

Looking forward to the show, Nuala said: “It is a beautiful setting and it is going to be lovely with a big enough crowd. I have always had a really nice response at the Open House Festival.”

This year, to ensure the festival remains covid-compliant, tickets are being sold in ‘bubbles’.

A ticket for a bubble of one costs £20, with tickets also available for bubbles of two, three, or four people at a cost of £40, £60 and £80.

To find out more or to book tickets, visit https://www.openhousefestival.com