Theatre review: Epic Love and Pop Songs

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If the story of a motor-mouthed teenager with a nice-but-weedy not-quite-boyfriend and a baby bump sounds a mite familiar to you, Doll (Norah Lopez Holden) would like to make one thing clear: this is not the film Juno.

Nor is it a subplot from ­Hollyoaks. This is simply the story of Doll, her mate Ted (George Caple) and their ­journey through what we’ll spoilerphobically describe as an “eventful” few months.

Let’s deal with the J-word first: aside from the ­similar plot and character beats, writer Phoebe Eclair-­Powell comfortably rivals Juno ­writer Diablo Cody’s ear for a witty turn of phrase. (Doll’s drink of choice, ‘winergy’ – aka wine and Red Bull – will be a Fringe staple before the run is out.)

Epic Love And Pop Songs ***

Pleasance Dome (Venue 23)

Both works also share a knack for perfect soundtrack choices, though as the name suggests, Pop Songs favours Queen Bey over Moldy ­Peaches.

Holden and Caple have incredible chemistry together – not to mention the Best Handshake of the Fringe 2016 – but what starts off as a funny, engaging story of high school misadventure ends up buckling under the weight of too many soap opera plot twists. Epic Love can more than hold its own against Juno; it’s theHollyoaks bit it has to watch out for.

Niki Boyle

Until 29 August

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