FRINGE PREVIEW: Dillie Keane from Fascinating Aïda

Dillie, Adele and Sarah-Louise: Fascinating Aida

Dillie, Adele and Sarah-Louise: Fascinating Aïda

“There’s been a rumour that cabaret has been dead for years,” says Dillie Keane, co-founder of undisputed queens of the genre Fascinating Aïda.

“If that’s so, then why am I still doing it!”

For the past 28 years, Dillie has taken the comedy musical trio from its beginnings performing in a wine bar to one of the must-see acts on the circuit. Their songs, which Dillie performs with co-founder Adele Anderson and new recruit Sarah-Louise Young, delight audiences and critics alike with hilarious lyrics and musical talent – plus some heartrendingly touching moments.

With an already loyal and devoted fanbase, Fascinating Aïda experienced a huge boost in popularity due to their hilarious Cheap Flights song exploding onto YouTube, where it’s currently had over 6 million views.

“I had a gut instinct it would go viral,” says Dillie. “and now it’s become so popular we’ve named this year’s show after it.”

Dillie has been instrumental in helping to get Cabaret featured as a genre of its own in this year’s Fringe programme, working together with Sarah-Louise to get it the recognition she feels it deserves.

“Comedy only goes as far as it can,” she says, “and other things have now become popular – there’s been a real resuscitation of old skills and acts, with websites now entirely devoted to comedy song; and the huge bursting of the burlesque scene too.”

All things which have helped prove that cabaret as a genre is very far from being dead, as Fascinating Aïda will demonstrate in Edinburgh in August.

“We’re rehearsing harder than usual,” says Dillie. “The back catalogue is a shared memory, and now Sarah-Louise is learning it. She’s wonderful though – a very experienced comic performer; and like a human dynamo.”

“Edinburgh’s one of the greatest cities in the world

“We have a whole new audience now thanks to the success of Cheap Flights who don’t know the older songs. But there’s a quite a few new numbers in the show this year too.”

Although some people may be discovering the delights of Fascinating Aïda for the first time, they’re also a bit of an Edinburgh institution.

“I love coming up,” says Dillie. “Edinburgh’s one of the greatest cities in the world. And I have a godson there who I’ll be visiting in August; we’ve got lots of plans for days out. I’m really an honorary Scot!”

“We’ll be doing guest spots too,” she says. “We’re always game for appearing in other shows!”

A Fringe wouldn’t be the same without an appearance from Fascinating Aïda. So whether you’re coming to Edinburgh on a budget airline or not, their show is one we recommend you make sure you catch before you miss the chance.

Fascinating Aïda: Cheap Flights runs from Aug 3-29 at the Gilded Balloon at 18:45. Some dates are already sold out – more details are on the Fringe website.

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