Theatre review: Electric Eden

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Tommy Eden was about to become a great grandfather.

Star rating: ***

Venue: Pleasance Pop-Up: The Club (Venue 320)

He used to stand outside this building singing soul songs on his toy microphone, filled with a desire to make people happy even at the age of 87. That was until Alexander Sheldon moved in, a property developer intent on putting a new leisure centre here.

The property developer doesn’t want undesirables like Tommy, so he had an Asbo slapped on him and then his staff moved the old man on – and he died while they were doing it. Welcome, then, to the “protest party” against the leisure centre, where the plan is to dance and rave to blaring anti-establishment music; to show Sheldon his money can not conveniently move 
everyone on.

There’s much to love in this new site-specific show from Not Too Tame, the creators of the previous, pub-bound Fringe hit Early Doors. Recommended are the joyous dance sequences, the way the piece uses the club space for an inventive, music-driven in-the-round performance, and most of all its committed sense of community spirit in the face of money-offering temptation – in this case, when Tommy’s pregnant and broke grand-daughter Grace is offered £18,000 to renounce the UV-painted activists campaigning in her grandfather’s name.

Louise Haggerty’s Grace delivers a rousing closing speech, but away from director Jimmy Fairhurst’s well-executed flash, bang and good intentions, the story arc until this point has been a little too light and predictable to really earn our euphoria.

Until 29 August. Today 3pm.

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