A naive idealist seeking to win in the local elections, the irrepressible Brendan Galileo wants to take Ireland down a better road. But the Galway town of Prospect says no to no prospects Brendan and his better road. But that’s not going to stop him from trying again in the European elections. It’s the only way he can save the town’s cultural centre, the Prospect McGuggan Academy, from destruction. But how do you make Europe sit up and take notice? Easy. By representing Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest. Fionn Foley’s hilarious “Brendan Galileo For Europe” as part of Show In A Bag, is a small production that delivers big on laughs while asking bigger questions. About Ireland, Europe, identity, the cost of progress and the death of culture. And how on earth did we lose the 1997 Eurovision with a song that good? An absolute crowd pleaser, “Brendan Galileo For Europe” delivers a jaw droppingly brilliant, one man comedy with an impeccable performance by Foley.
Small in size, Foley’s super smart and hilarious script is often epic in design. Imbued with a can-do, idealising naïveté, Brendan’s political journey from being moderately subversive to subversively moderate is told with a subtle, knowing, insiders wink. Attention to detail, textual by Foley, and compositionally by director Jeda De Bri, is impressive in the extreme. Right down to an impeccable and superbly detailed, split second, uncredited sound design flawlessly executed throughout, adding layer upon layer of richness to every second. Throughout, Foley’s physical articulations and razor sharp observations of people, places, and the Galway Races, are a masterclass.
One man, one stage, no props, and no place to hide. Not that Foley needs it. Under de Bri’s watchful eye, from first moment to last, Foley owns the stage and the audience. Indeed Foley often exudes something of the silver screen charm of a contemporary Jimmy Stewart, with “Brendan Galileo For Europe” feeling like It’s A Wonderful Life meets Mister Smith Goes To Washington at times. Indeed, there’s heavy doses of Capra-corn throughout. If, occasionally, some saccharine sentiment feels like one spoonful too much of sugar in your tea, by and large “Brendan Galileo For Europe” gets the sweetness just right.
It might not always be a wonderful life in Prospect, but “Brendan Galileo For Europe” is a wonderful, joyous, celebration of a show with an irresistible performance from Foley. From Drumshanbo to Ballydehob, from every town with too many consonants to every city throughout the land, “Brendan Galileo For Europe” is guaranteed to be a triumph. It’s just mighty.
“Brendan Galileo For Europe” by Fionn Foley, part of Irish Theatre Institute, Dublin Fringe Festival, and Fishamble: The New Play Company’s Show In A Bag, ran at Bewley’s Theatre Cafe as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2018
For more information, visit Dublin Fringe Festival 2018