Is there anyone better in pop culture than Madonna in terms of reinvention? Surely, she is the queen. Her reinventions over the years inspired the name of the panel discussion we’re taking to Listowel Writers Week in Co Kerry.

Listowel Writers Week is Ireland’s oldest literary and arts festival. It aims to promote writing of all genres and create an environment where literature can be celebrated by writers and readers alike. It takes place from 29th May until 2nd June 2024.

My ChatterBoxx comedy co-writer, Orla Doherty, and I are teaming up with author and broadcaster Barbara Scully for our first festival event. It takes place on Sunday, 2nd June, at 4pm in the Listowel Arms Hotel. Our next stop is at the Dalkey Book Festival on Sunday, 16th June (sold out) but more dates will follow in 2024.

Barbara is a well-known voice on radio, with a weekly Agony Aunt slot on Newstalk’s Moncrieff Show. She regularly appears on TV, contributing to shows like Today on RTE and Ireland AM on Virgin Media TV. Her first book, Wise Up, was published in 2022, and it celebrates the power and wisdom of older women.

Orla and I are in our early 50s (let it be known that I’ll be sticking to that description until I’m 59 and a half), while Barbara, the wise owl, is in her early 60s. Each of us has experienced reinvention in our 50s. Barbara went from being a stay-at-home mother to a writer, author, and broadcaster. Orla morphed from a professional squash player to a writer and comedian. Once upon a time, I was an accountant. These days, I’m a comedy writer and comedian. It’s all part of my one-woman mission to convince society that accountants can have a sense of humour.

Our panel will discuss why women (and sometimes men too) have the urge to do ‘something new, something different’ as they enter their peri and post-menopausal years. We aim to explore if it really is reinvention or is it just actually finding out who you really are and becoming the person you were born to be before gender, life, kids and mortgages got in the way.

We’ll be describing our reinventions, and we hope to entertain and uplift the audience and encourage them to believe that anything really is possible, not just at any age but especially as they age.