Mac & Eden back at Brighton Fringe

Joanna Eden and Leigh McDonald
Joanna Eden and Leigh McDonald
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Following their award-winning run at The Brighton Fringe last year, Leigh and Joanna – otherwise known as Mac & Eden – are back again this year with their show The Unbearable Pleasure of Being a Woman, this time at The Verdict, Edward Street from May 29-31 and on June 3.

Joanna Eden is the singer-songwriter; Leigh McDonald the West End and National Theatre actress. Together they promise candid, poignant and irreverent original songs in a side-splitting comedy/cabaret.

As they say, being female can be an unbearably-silly business. They manage to spend a whole evening laughing, crying and even singing about it on an “oestrogen-driven, emotional rollercoaster ride”.

From pigtails to puberty, stilettos to strollers, marriage to messing it up, it will be fabulous and filthy, Joanna says.

“Leigh has done all sorts of things in the theatre, but she was getting tired of being constantly on the road, going off for months on end on tour. She was ready to settle down and be in one place for a while, and I met her just at that time. We are both from the same town, and we did a couple of gigs together.”

They shared their experiences and found they had a lot in common: “When women get fed up with a particular boyfriend, the best friend will always tell them what they want to hear and so the woman always ends up saying a certain thing.”

Girls, you know what she means. Well, they turned it into a song, and that was the starting point for the show: “It is all about the marvellousness and the beauty and the sadness of being a woman and a celebration of that. But in no way are we anti-men. We are pretty desperate for men! It is just that the show is a celebration of our womanhood and also a celebration of our character traits. We are working on a song at the moment about the fact that everyone has gone through mental-health issues, and we are going to turn it into a big gospel chorus with everyone singing ‘I am mental.’ There are so many people that have been touched by depression or OCD. We like the idea that people will be laughing but they will have a lump in their throats.”

Joanna has also done a song called The Miracle of Motherhood: “I sing this song about all the high hopes and high standards I used to have and how it has all slipped and how I ended up bribing my daughter every week in McDonalds…

“Last year, Brighton was the first festival we had done and only about our fifth gig as a proper act, and we ended up winning the cabaret section at the Brighton Fringe. We thought ‘And now the next step is the world!’ And now we are back in Brighton, trying to get as much publicity as we can so that we can also go to Edinburgh. Edinburgh is really the next step up.”

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