Emily Ashmore has had her fair share of medical procedures, and it seems that laughter is still the best medicine. The 22-year-old Dubliner has just launched her most recent show Ashes to Ashmore as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival 2022. The show is a hilarious exploration of the areas of Ashmore’s life that have been affected by her randomly dislocating kneecaps. From hobbies indicative of a retiree to knee brace sex, Ashmore’s fresh and energetic material had the crowd in stitches. Directed by Rob Flynn and produced by Michael Sable, Ashes to Ashmore is a must-see show for anyone in search of an engaging and intimate comedy night.
Ashmore’s show is a beautiful ode to finding humour in disability. The show opens as Ashmore is waiting in a doctor’s office, practising what to say at her upcoming comedy show that night. Speaking directly to the audience, she discusses how her life has been affected by her disability. From her kneecap’s original escape attempt when she was just fifteen to her most recent surgery, Ashmore has found the comedy in her situation, divulging to the audience that no matter how rough her journey gets, the jokes just keep coming.
“Ashmore’s creativity and talent shines through as she is able to capture the humorous side to her condition”
Her material covers every element of her young adult life that has been affected by her random knee dislocations. The young comedian recounts teenaged years of knitting at home while her friends were drunk in a field, having to create new sex positions to incorporate a Velcro leg brace, and posting about her knee X-Rays on Instagram. Her creativity and talent shines through as she is able to capture the humorous side to her condition through personal anecdotes, jokes and puns, without detracting away from its seriousness. Her material is unconventional but relatable, incorporating collective memories that anyone growing up in Ireland during the noughties and 2010s can remember.
“Ashmore’s stage presence is electric, which shines through in a small venue such as Workman’s club”
In a short performance of only 45 minutes, Ashmore’s concise and lively set continuously engages the audience from start to finish. Her stage presence is electric, which shines through in a small venue such as Workman’s club. Being in close proximity to an audience can be known to cause a degree of awkwardness; however, Ashmore’s inviting and charismatic creates an intimate space where the audience is immediately drawn into the performance. From the stellar writing, to the energetic performance and delivery, Ashes to Ashmore is a phenomenal show that I would implore everyone to experience.