Triple Fringe First and Olivier-winning Fishamble, in association with Fringe First-winning Sunday’s Child, return to Summerhall with the 2019 hit show Mustard by Eva O’Connor. A darkly comic play about heartbreak, madness, and how condiments are the ultimate coping mechanism. When the man of her dreams, a professional cyclist, leaves E, she plummets into a black hole of heartbreak at the speed of a doped-up team on the Tour de France. Eva spoke with The Fountain about the show as well as others that are on her radar this year.

TF: You are part of Summerhall’s Fringe this year, what can you tell us about Mustard?

Mustard ran at Summerhall in 2019 and won a Fringe First. It’s about a young woman who falls madly in love with a professional cyclist, and struggles to cope after their relationship ends. She uses mustard as a coping mechanism and slathers it all over her body in her darkest moments. It’s a show about love, loss, heartbreak and sanity slipping through your fingers. It examines toxic relationships and coping mechanisms and although the mustard element is quite surreal, audiences find it very relatable. I love performing it. In particular I always enjoy the looks on people’s faces when I slather my entire body in mustard. People stare open mouthed! 

TF: And can you sum it up in one sentence?  

A visceral one woman show about heartbreak, madness, and using (and abusing!) condiments as a coping mechanism.

What were the key influences for your show this year Eva? 

It’s based on lots of my past (failed!) relationships and my experience with an eating disorder. I’ve always been inspired by really powerful no-holds-barred one woman shows like Iphigenia in Splott by Gary Owen and Corn Exchange’s A Girl is a Half Formed Thing by Eimear McBride.  The kind of shows that are so engrossing you blink and they’re over and you just desperately want to watch them again for that magic. 

And as for the rest of Summerhall’s programme, what are you looking forward to personally?

I’m really excited to see Two Fingers up, by SkelpieLimmer productions, the brilliant My Left Nut by Michael Patrick and Oisin Kearney, and Martin Creed’s piece Everything is Going to be Alright (that is the kind of title we need having lived through the pandemic as artists!) Can I be biased and recommend my own show too? Afloat by myself and Hildegard Ryan is also part of the Summerhall programme! 

Join the team behind the show for a free online Meet the Artist event on Friday 20th August @ 6pm.

Hosted by Summerhall’s programming team via Zoom, this post-show discussion offers you the chance to find out more about the production, hear from the artists about the ideas behind the show, and ask your own questions.

Free event. RSVP required in advance – click here to book your space.