Douze – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – C royale

Douze (X and Co in association with 21 theatre) continues at C royale until 28 August.

Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩

Xnthony and The Penny Slots have a goal: sure-fire Eurovision success for Ireland. In a parody of a parody of a parody, this crazy hour is an hilarious sideswipe at every toe-curling attempt at Eurovision supremacy.

To be fair, not everyone in the audience seemed to share the willingness to enter the lunacy, but no one could deny the energy and genuine buffoonery skills on show here.

The formula is simple – there is a list of the tunes handed to everyone in the audience. The group perform each song and the audience choose the winner.

But, oh, the songs!!! Covering ballads, teaching songs, love songs, upbeat songs and distressingly inept rapping, Xnthony and The Penny Slots sweep through the show with frenetic energy.

Lyrics rhyming ‘pizza’ with ‘Ibiza’ might give you a clue of the standards to expect. The winning song at the performance I saw was ‘Numbers’ – we all knew the words!

Anthony Keigher describes himself as a ‘performance maker’. His Xnthony is a diva, yet charming. His smile is cheeky and infectious; his relationship with The Penny Slots adorable and tetchy.

Hannah (can dance but not sing) and Tiffany (can sing but not dance) are The Penny Slot sidekicks, there to enhance the ‘X Factor’ and never let up for a second.

The number where they sport the missing star from the EU flag above their heads like a warped halo is hilarious.

The clowning skills for climbing across the audience and the unforgiving choreography are physically so demanding, one can only hope this show is recorded for them to watch in future years with wonder.

One slight doubt is around the make-up choices: degeneration across the show might have been more successful than the upfront buffoon definition.

Glitter, bunting, sparkles, balloons and ladders are used throughout the blue and gold sparkle-bomb.  In the right spirit, this is great fun.

Fiona Orr


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