Review: Mary O'Connell: Money Princess

Thoughtful and feel-good debut hour about late-stage capitalism

comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Mary O'Connell
Photo by Matt Crockett
Published 05 Aug 2023

It begins with fanfare – cash, luminous pink, blasting music – and deservedly so. Mary O’Connell’s debut show Money Princess interrogates the possibility of joy in late-stage capitalism with shameless honesty, self-awareness, and an impressive attentiveness. Framed by the cost of living crisis, the set questions who we are, who we want to be, and why we’re so comfy letting capitalism come between the two. 

In drawing on her own money anxieties, O’Connell takes the ever uncomfortable topic of finances and pushes it to a point of comical comfortability. It’s a welcoming performance that is equal parts thoughtful and feel-good. From Only Fans and girlbossing, to Nectar Points and healing crystals, topics we may think are tired and overdone become far from it with O’Connell. Such is truly a testament to her fresh ingenuity. 

Amid the money chat, she also questions the role of the comedian and makes a number of astute and necessary points on identity and audience expectations within comedy. It’s incisive, generous, and still very funny. 

But it’s also clear that O’Connell is a truly talented storyteller; there’s a real warmth to each returning narrative. And, each unexpected turn is fun – for both the audience and O’Connell, who brings an easy excitement to her discussion of financial fears. Undeniably, there’s also a certain trustworthiness in her humourous yet conscious approach to these harsh realities. The irony is clear: within just a few minutes of this show about late-stage capitalism, the audience is left with an insatiable desire for more.