Mary Walsh reminisces and shares new work

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An Evening with Mary Walsh | Surrey Arts Centre | October 29, 2022

Mrs. Eulalia walks down the aisle toward the stage complaining about everything from the weather to the pandemic to her aging body. Going up the few stairs to the stage is “like climbing mitsu pitchu,” she says. Mary Walsh’s most recent character goes on to talk about local politics and “Thug McCallum” who “wasn’t putting his best foot forward” — the audience responded with roaring laughter.

This content tailored to each city Walsh visits is impressive, given that the show contains multiple characters, a costume change centre stage, a book reading, and video clips shared from throughout her career. Mrs. Eulalia continues talking politics and says Doug Ford’s nickname is “DoFo” — "He’s a MoFo you know,” and she likes to call Pierre Poilievre “little PP.”

Mrs. Eulalia changes her clothes to become Walsh herself. Before getting dressed she demonstrates her fashion hack: hockey tape to keep everything smooth and in place. In between more commentary on feminism, new comedy, Elon Musk, the “modern day domestic male,” and aging, Walsh shares clips of her various characters and television shows from throughout her career. In case you forgot, Marg Delahunty once kissed Stephen Harper — he wasn’t a good kisser, she says.

She also shares a bit of her latest show, The Missus Downstairs, in which she plays a nosey neighbour who spends her days sitting outside her door smoking and scrolling through her phone. Back to the earlier days of her career, we see clips of Codco and Hatching, Matching and Dispatching. Walsh has a way of talking to the audience as if we are sitting in a giant living room listening to her casually tell us stories of her career and childhood. Reading from her new novel, partly based on her own life, she describes a girl whose parents send her away to live with a relative before that relative sends her back.  

This “brassy bit of aging crumpet,” as she describes herself, continues to create hilarious comedy and write new material. And she has put together a show packed with laughs, memories, and sneak peeks at her current work. I’m looking forward to her next character, whoever that may be. Just like Walsh, I’m sure they will be uninhibited by expectations and pull no punches.  

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