Eejit of Love – Edinburgh Festival Fringe

2015EEJITOG-AAB-300Eejit of Love continues at Greenside @ Nicolson Square until 29 August.

Star rating: three stars ★ ★ ★

Somewhat of a summer pantomime, Eejit of Love tells the tale of small-town duo Billy and Eileen’s romance and dreams of ‘making it’ in the music business. A cowboy narrates this tale with a country and western twang, but Jody Trehy’s score is truly eclectic. Eileen and Billy decide to try for ‘Xposure’ – a telly talent show fronted by Pete Popalypse played by Michael Grennell with all the relish of a classic panto ‘baddie’. This pantomime theme continues in Billy’s Ma, played by Donncha O’Dea with more than a passing reference to Mrs Brown.

As Eileen continues her journey to pop fame, Billy returns to his Ma’s farm and here comes one of the highlights of the show – Ma’s rendition of the anthemic ‘Old Potatoes’!  The audience waved arms and sang along with gusto – great fun!

The ‘God complex’ of Pete Popalypse – referenced in dialogue such as: “I am the light; I am the way” and “Believe in me; I’m everywhere” – are all the more discomfiting in the surroundings of a church. The sermon of the reaching for the unattainable is illustrated by Eileen’s loss of character in her new persona, contrasted with Billy’s more ‘rooted’ life with Ma.

It’s a pity that backing tracks are used rather than live musicians as this tends to limit performers’ growth within a piece – even just a live piano would have helped. A jolly romp that would appeal to fans of Mrs Brown’s Boys.

Fiona Orr
Studio 42
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