Aca-Villa: The Love Island Musical review – Edinburgh Festival Fringe ★★★★★

4 mins read

Aca-Villa : The Love Island Musical, is a beautifully sung, brilliantly observed parody of ITV’s infamous reality TV programme.

Performed by AcadePitch, which is two of the University of Bristol’s a-cappella groups working together, in the space of just under an hour a complete story is told which will delight anyone who is a fan of Love Island.

If you’re a compulsive viewer of Love Island, then much here will be familiar. If you aren’t, as long as you are aware of the basic premise of the show, you will be able to understand the targets being parodied. 

The Show

There’s an awful lot of plot packed into this show. As well as the ‘couples getting together’ scenes that you would expect, there are a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ moments, following characters such as the producer, and the intern. 

As you’d expect from a-cappella groups, the singing is superb. Additionally, the song choices here have obviously been incredibly carefully thought through, and they all work within the wider narrative. 

The format of this show requires the cast to act, and they all pull this off solidly. In particular, the group member playing presenter Iain – whose surname is a running gag throughout. 

The huge cast – at least 22 people – all take their roles and run with them. They use mannerisms and asides that could all too easily have been plucked directly from footage we’ve seen on ITV. 

The cast of show characters contains every cliché you’d expect. From the shy girl and boy, to the posh rich boy who could’ve been lifted straight from ‘oliversoxford’ on Instagram. 

There are also some characters who, it quickly becomes clear, are queer. There’s a range here too, from characters who know they are queer, to those who don’t – at least initially. The script lampshades the fact that Love Island has never had a queer couple (apart from in season two), and seeks to rectify this by having several in this story. 

The entire production is this knowing – and the cast aren’t afraid to have fun. They all seem to have an immense amount of confidence, which helps to try to smooth out a couple of technical hiccups. 

The creative team has plainly given a lot of thought to how they are going to tie together the story, the singing and the necessary choreography. The huge cast knows that this whole thing is very silly, but they take their performances seriously. 

The story also manages to stick the landing, with an utterly satisfying resolution to the question of ‘who wins’. Which, in true Love Island-style, involves an audience vote. 

Final Thoughts

This is a superb, silly, funny, knowing, well-crafted musical production, and it could very easily have a life after the Fringe has finished. A huge laugh, executed brilliantly, and highly recommended. 

Aca-Villa: The Love Island Musical, continues at the Edinburgh Fringe until 26th August
Featured Image Credit – Edinburgh Fringe Society

+ posts
%d bloggers like this: