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Eilish O'Carroll: Live Love Laugh


Image: Edinburgh-Festivals.com
My Mum is a massive fan of Mrs Brown's Boys, and was so excited when she saw an ad for Eilish's show in the Fringe brochure. Personally, I've never really warmed to the programme - it's just not my cup of tea.

My lack of interest in the programme in which Eilish stars had no impact on my enjoyment of the show, which features very little in the production. This is really a memoir show - with Eilish charmingly telling the story of her life.

Quite a life it is too. Having grown up in a Catholic family of ten, and for a few years (until her brother Brendan came along) she is the youngest of her siblings - having to battle for attention. She then goes through two unhappy marriages before falling for a woman.

Eilish is endearing but also possesses a wicked sense of humour - making us warm to her instantly. We hear stories which touch on religion, love and sexuality - all of which are engaging, with the use of simple props to encapsulate various characters in her life.

The audience was largely older, probably influenced by her fanbase coming from Mrs Brown's Boys, but don't think this is a show just for an older audience. While some may enjoy the show and be prompted to look back on their lives, for me it made me reflect on my life now, and on my future.

It also made me laugh - with honesty being a priority even in what could be embarrassing situations that might rather be forgotten. The ability to look back and find humour in all aspects of her life makes this a thoroughly enjoyable hour.

The title of the show encapsulates Eilish's attitude to life - with a mantra of 'live, love, laugh' guiding her experiences, particularly in later life as she comes to terms with her sexuality.

At one point early on we hear how all Eilish wants is to be loved. By the end of the show it's not clear whether she is with a partner but this isn't important - we see her comfortable within herself and also enjoying a career which she didn't plan for or anticipate. This is lovely to see.

While the final insights such as not caring what people think of you as it's "none of your business" aren't new - they are heartfelt and based on difficult experiences, so they ring true and I left feeling uplifted and inspired.


Eilish O'Carroll: Live Love Laugh plays at the Pleasance Courtyard at 2.45pm until 24 August.

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