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Festival Review: The End of Eddy ****

Ashling Findlay-Carroll reviews a production that engages with its teenage audience.

As we enter the performance space, two performers dressed identically lounge casually in a concrete bus stop upstage that’s surrounded by bottles and litter. Four TV screens on bright yellow stands break the space and are used throughout to denote location and provide further characters for the two live performers to interact with.

The End of Eddy, Brechtian in style, breaks the fourth wall from the start. The performers inform us of the story’s origin and how it will be told. The dynamic delivery between them throughout is charming, cheeky and with enough charisma and honesty to carry the style of the narrative and prevent it from feeling like a TIE show.

Pamela Carter’s adaptation is slick and deals with themes of homophobia, class, poverty, relationships and opinions in a manner that engaged the audience of teenagers. It examines the idea of toxic masculinity as Eddy repeats the ‘affirmation’ of “Today I will be a man”. The direction and style of the piece cleverly stops us from getting too emotionally involved in the story and forces us to consider the points being made.

The ‘imagined’ Father/Son Celine Dion duet is a moment where the man who likes silence allows a little understanding towards his son. It provides us with a glimpse of light in the darkness of this small isolated town, the hope that change might be possible—if not for Eddy then for future generations.

Part of this year’s EIF programme. Run ended.

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