The Height of the Eiffel Tower

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review (theatre): The Height of the Eiffel Tower at Assembly Hall (Venue 313). Review by Sally Stott.

“It’s Rosie! Hello!” New Zealander Morgana O’Reilly greets the audience as they enter her one-woman show. It’s a piece, she explains, created to be performed in people’s houses as a way of making money to go travelling. The casual start is deceptive, for this is a sharp and funny look at the daily life of a working-class New Zealand family. When not travelling around the world’s stages/ living rooms, O’Reilly stars in Neighbours and, like another Aussie TV show, Kath and Kim, her compassionate portrayal of recognisable people, that almost but never quite falls into stereotyping, is great fun.

We meet the ever-smiling Terri, a mum who has given her life to her family: 16-year-old Anna-Louise, who is pregnant and defiant that there is “no shame” in drinking and smoking; 13-year-old Nathan, obsessed with facts about fish; and globetrotting Katie, who is “opening herself up to new cultures.” O’Reilly is brilliant at shifting between each and capturing their amusing little traits. The consequences of a dramatic decision Terri makes at the end aren’t sufficiently explored, but the characters are such a delight they could sustain a whole TV series. Someone should make one.

Until 25 August. Today 12:25pm, more info

Originally published in The Scotsman

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