Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: The Glorious Damnation of Eddie Small, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Fiona Shepherd.
In this rags-to-riches-via-rivalry musical, an aspiring and somewhat jealous guitarist brokers a deal with an enigmatic figure to become a better bluegrass musician. Unlike Robert Johnson’s encounter at the crossroads, the price he pays is not his soul but another’s life, that of his childhood friend and musical collaborator. That’s one way to resolve those creative differences.
Inevitably, the subsequent success and adulation weighs heavily on young Eddie’s shoulders. In fact, every development in this rise-and-fall story feels inevitable, from the thwarted romantic subplot to the managerial machinations to the onstage meltdown at a crucial stage in his career.
Fortunately, the energetic and precision-drilled five-piece ensemble from Zut Alors Theatre makes what could have been an underwhelming show, with its decent but not stellar pseudo-Mumford & Sons musical numbers, work through commitment and conviction – something the protagonist could have learned from.
Bedlam Theatre (Venue 49) until 22 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 14 August 2015
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