A Friendly Chat with Meadhbh Haiceid

Hello Meadhbh, as you are probably aware there are many ways to spell your name. Meadhbh, Maeve, Méabh and I’ve even seen some people have the sheer audacity spell their name like Mayuv. Approximately how hard is it for stupid Americans to pronounce your name?

Hey Rebecca! My name does have a lot of different spellings. I have two other Mea(dh)(bh)(ve)s as friends and each one of us spells it differently. My version, Meadhbh, has the maximum number of consonants, I think – placing me right up there with the Donnachadhas and Sadhbhs of this world, in a special enchanted dimension of our own, where our names serve as perpetual portals into conversations about phonetics. When it comes to the pronunciation, I can always meet any ‘Mead- hu-bu- hu-bu?’ with an ‘It’s like Dave, but with an Em’ – though maybe I should embrace the hubbahubba.

Speaking of names, how does one pronounce your surname? As a filthy Brit who struggled with Irish for many years, I’ve come up with a measly attempt sounding something like “hack-ayde”.

You are in fact spot on there Rebecca! It’s ‘hack-ayde’ – like lemonade but with a hack. You can also call me ‘EmDave Lemonade’. (Two bonus fun facts about my name: 1. Nokia predictive text used to call me ‘Meadhag’, 2. I often answer when people happen to say ‘maybe’ within earshot)

From one of the first Google searches under ‘what does the word meadhbh mean’, one of the Top Language Experts in the country have informed me that your name means “the cause of great joy” or “she who intoxicates.” Rebecca is admittedly, a bit of a shite name, but if it were a mystical, Irish name like your own, what do you think it would mean?

Yes! I do also answer to ‘she who intoxicates’! I have a very high alcohol content (Meadhag). I like to think Rebecca would mean ‘she who hydrates’ – then everyone can follow every glass of me with a glass of you to reduce the risk of a hangover. All jokes aside though, I did google your name too and according to the internet it means ‘captivating’ (awesome!) and ‘knotted cord’ (intriguing!). Also Urban Dictionary says: ‘Rebecca is the name reserved only for the genuine and best women on earth’ (nice!), and one person writes elsewhere: ‘I spell my daughters name as REBEKHAR as this is the way that I pronounce it’. That REBEKHAR undoubtedly has a sibling called MAYUV.

As a GIGANTIC Madonna fan, I was astonished and simultaneously green with envy to learn that you are each other’s soulmate. Which of Madonna’s extensive brood of children is your favourite? You HAVE to choose.

OK… here is where I confess to being a giant charlatan… Although I wrote an entire show about Madonna and I being soulmates (I mean, both of our names start with M, right??), I think it’s now time to admit that I had never been a true fan before getting into writing that show (I’m sorry!). My knowledge of pop culture has always been pretty minimal. I’d like you to think of me now as someone who was raised by hermetic monks, popped out of the cave at the age of 27, discovered the internet and immediately wikipediaed Madonna at great length. In other words… the answer is definitely Lourdes, because – according to ‘madeformums.com’ – she had my absolute all-time favourite birth weight: 6lb 9oz. 6lb 9oz has always been my lucky number!

If you had to choose one (and ONLY one) Madonna album to listen to in its entirety before you die, which would it be?

Is this like on my death bed? If so, just going by title it’s tempting to say ‘Like a Prayer’, but equally tempting to say ‘Erotica’ (hubbahubba). Inappropriate for death bed? Time will tell…

Black haired, brown haired or blonde haired Madge?

One thing I really admire about Madonna is the way she seems to have kept reinventing herself in the public eye. It’s fun to think we all have the power to transform ourselves constantly like big sexy chameleons. In that spirit, I celebrate all the Madges!

After watching both Black Swan and Glee far too many times, is working in theatre as competitive as it seems?

I suppose theatre is a competitive industry, but then there is camaraderie in the fact that everyone cares a lot about making shows, even if no one’s really making enough money.

I see you’re playing the Workman’s Comedy Club this Sunday 16th April. Have you ever frequented the charming establishment that is the Workman’s, and if so, what’s the most pretentious thing you’ve ever heard in the infamous smoking area?

Yes! I’m so excited about this, it’s going to be a great night. My most immediate memory of the Workman’s smoking area is of it just being very, very crowded one time and everyone out there melting at the edges and melding together like a load of sticky wham bars into one huge big wham bar with a great many elbows. Anyone else there that night? I can’t remember anything pretentious I overheard though – which probably means I was busy pontificating about my artistic process and unique special dreamscapes.

Have you ever had the head roasted off ye from the heaters in the smoking area? Because I have. And if you weren’t aware, you have now been warned!

Eeeek! Thanks for the warning. I’m going to soak a sponge and wear it on my head on Sunday. Maybe that will become a thing.

One of your fellow comedians playing this Sunday is Paul Currie. Speaking of curries, what’s your fave thing to order from the takeaway? I love a duuuurty chicken satay meself.

Nice! Yes, Paul Currie and James Moran will also be performing on Sunday, and they’re both very funny. I do love a good cheesey chip – though I’ve never found one in Dublin that’s compared to Galway City Kebab House’s cheesey chips of the late 2000s. Recommendations welcome please, thank you.

As a baby comedian in the beginning of doing her stand up, what advice could you give to a typical sweaty chubby 22 year old looking to make people laugh by telling jokes? Asking for a friend.

Aww I don’t know… but I do love the old classic: ‘Just be yourself, everyone else is taken’.

Meadbh Haiceid is performing at the Workman’s Comedy Club with Paul Currie and James Moran on Sunday, April 16th. More info here

Main image via Meadhbh Haiceid’s Youtube Channel