Enya Martin (Giz a Laugh) - Facebook superstar is a topliner in The Civic's first panto

By Hayden Moore

For the first time ever, a traditional Christmastime pantomime is coming to The Civic Theatre in Tallaght.

Tickets are flying out the door for their Jack and the Beanstalk, with over 9,000 tickets sold for the initial 34 shows between December 12 and 30, forcing them to extend the panto a further 11 shows until January 6.

Enya Martin stars as The Instafairy in The Civic Panto Jack and the Bean

Enya Martin

One of the stars of the show, Enya Martin has been making Facebook users giggle for a number of years through her page ‘Giz A Laugh’ where she plays on typical Irish stereotypes.

The Clondalkin woman has been steadily growing her audience since she uploaded her first video in 2014 and has amassed a staggering 264,000 followers on Facebook – she caught up with The Echo last week to tell us all about the panto and how she got her start with ‘Giz a Laugh’.

With over 9,000 tickets already sold, are you excited to be a part of The Civic’s first ever Panto?

You always hear about the Gaeity and the Olympia but 9000 people is no joke, that’s like nine Vicar Streets. For Tallaght that is an absolutely huge number and I am so excited for it because I used to go to the panto all the time when I was a kid and now, I’m actually in one.

How are the rehearsals going?

Yeah it’s coming along nicely now because at this stage we’re really just going over everything in preparation for Wednesday.

The first week was tough because you’re only going through everything for the first time and you’re learning your lines, and now it’s kind of just repeating all that but we’ve added in the dancing this week too.

The dancing is so fun because they [the dancers] have been rehearsing for a few weeks and we’re just putting the finishing touches on it now – it adds loads of energy to the show, it’s great!

Who is the Instafairy?

It’s a role that’s not too serious and is really fun to play. I don’t really have all these huge chunks of dialogue either so I can really just put my heart into it.

What is ‘Giz A Laugh’ all about?

Basically, I started an online Facebook page where I make these little comedy videos that focus on stereotypes from around Ireland.

I do the typically Irish mammy, an Irish chav and a few more but they are topical usually so they’ll be about whatever’s going in.

You have been a long-time collaborator with another online creator, Rory’s Stories, how did you meet Rory?

It was about two years ago and Rory just messaged me saying that he liked my stuff and that we could do something together because of the amount of followers we had.

See nobody in Ireland was really making stuff about couples so we made a few videos together about being together and uploaded them around Christmas two years ago.

It went really well and we are very professional working together – when people find out me and Rory aren’t actually together, they do be devastated!

You were really one of the first Irish people to successfully create online content the way you did, what made you start ‘Giz a Laugh’?

I just enjoy making people laugh and growing up I’d always be making people laugh in school, then in my last year in college I just decided right I’m going to make a video.

It’s gas because I started off just imitating my mam and I found that I am pretty good at picking up on people’s mannerisms but it did take me a few years to upload that first video because I was scared about what people would think of me.

What did you study in college?

I studied advertisement and marketing for four years in IT Tallaght. I really enjoy business studies but its like society tells you that you’re supposed to go to college and get a nine to five job, and it just so happens that in my last year of college I found what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Did you have a moment where you realised that you were on to something?

It’s mad really because the first video I made got a good few likes and views but compared to now I’d probably think that it is absolutely sh*te.

The first viral video I had got millions of views and after that it was kind of like ‘right now I have that reach’. But you never know what’s going to happen with it, it’s like a ticking time bomb.

What can people expect from the panto?

It’s ‘Jack and the beanstalk’ and my role is pretty much to make Jack and Jill fall in love because I have no wings and to get my wings back, I have to make two people fall in love.

I honestly wish I was in the audience to watch it because it’s so fun and a very very strong panto.

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