It's a shame as well that we never see enough of a relationship between Billy and Eileen as it makes the conflicts a lot harder to invest in and sympathise with.
The small ensemble cast is decent, and Michael Grennell puts in a particularly noteworthy performance as the pantomime villain of a Simon Cowell figure, but they're propping up a weak script which unfortunately falls through. The characters are all stereotypes which is not always a bad thing in a parody, but there are constant generic jibes at Ireland shoved alongside these figures which wore me down throughout the fifty minutes of stage time.
It's a shame as well that we never see enough of a relationship between Billy and Eileen as it makes the conflicts a lot harder to invest in and sympathise with. Instead, we are treated to the repetitive Potato Song from Billy's mother (Donncha O' Dea giving Mrs Brown a run for her money) which also receives a reprise. The initial humour of the mother's song is good but when two minutes is solely on one joke, it's clear that a little extra is needed to keep the audience captivated.
There are also so many unnecessary additions to the play. Whilst we're all perfectly aware that Pete Popalypse is the definitive bad guy, his giving “medicine” to a drastically auto-tuned Eileen feels oddly preachy and like a bad facsimile of the drug abuse plot in Fame. The escalation of Popalypse's actions to secure more money is ridiculous and Billy's rescuing of Eileen completely overlooks this, which is a shame as it would've provided a tender moment between the two. It appears that the lack of fleshing out characters stems from having too many ideas in such a short amount of stage time, which is only strengthened by Popalypse's complete 180 degree turn of character for the sake of tying up loose ends.
The actors are putting on a good performance but it's hard to provide many laughs for a script which doesn't have many and apart from the opening number, the songs are sadly forgettable.