Note: This review is from the 2015 Fringe

@ Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh until Sunday 30 August @ Various Times (not 17 and 24)

Sonya Kelly is an Irish actor and writer, but most importantly she is head-over-heels in love with ‘Kate from Queensland’. With any heart wrenching love story there is twist in the tale. Unfortunately for this happy couple Kate does not have a visa to live and work in Ireland. How To Keep an Alien tells the story of how Sonya and Kate go to great lengths to make sure that they stay together and attempt to convince the Irish National Immigration Bureau that the Australian national deserves the right live in Ireland.

Kate is not present in person during the performance, but Sonya is not alone on the stage. She is joined by Stage Manger and Art Garfunkel fan Justin Murphy. Together the pair tell the comedic and quirky story of How To Keep an Alien. Sonya begins by recounting the backstory of how she and the love of her life met. She talks passionately and eloquently, with jokes and amusing similes peppered throughout the monologue. Meanwhile, Justin sits behind a computer and stage manages the show by playing sound effects and audio recordings that add to the comedy and emphasises the predicament that Sonya and Kate from Queensland are in.

How To Keep an Alien is a great tale. It is a story of love and how endeavour and passion can bring about happiness. It is a true love conquers all narrative and no way feels contrived or overtly sentimental. This is down to Sonya Kelly’s ability as a comedy performer and the excellent pairing with Stage Manager/Performer Justin Murphy. The show is high on laughs, but this never gets in the way of the drama in this romantic and life affirming story.