The Most Fun Funeral
Friday, 18 February 2011
Written and Performed by Anne Brashier
Directed by Robin Kerr
I had the pleasure of being present for the ‘World Premiere’ of The Most Fun Funeral last week. Before seeing this show, I had not really considered the possibility of putting the words “fun” and “funeral” together in the same sentence. In fact, I’ve only been to a couple of funerals in my life and they were just bizarre experiences that felt awkward and unhappy.
In contrast, through this show we find out that Anne has attended quite a few significant funerals (both her parents’, plus her grandfather’s). She effortlessly takes us on a journey through her experience of these events, playing multiple characters along the way and propelling the show along with her infectious energy.
The Most Fun Funeral is a mash up of funny and tragic, fantastical and real (which is generally my fave kind of show). Afterwards I did find myself thinking about funerals and death, not in a ‘doom and gloom’ way, but in the sense that it WILL happen some day. I think I’d like my funeral to at least be one part party too.
Modern society is built on a denial of death. We create new medicines to keep people alive, save our hair from falling out or take 10 years off our faces. Back in ‘the day’ people used to gather in the town square to watch hangings/ beheadings etc, and it was more common to have dead bodies on public display. I believe today we have a much more mediated experience with death – primarily through TV and films. I think it has a huge affect on our relationship to death and dying. Of course, this show is also a mediated experience, but I felt like I actually got something real out of it.
Unlike CSI, Anne did not show us fake dead bodies. She instead gave us a peek into her personal experience of life and death, and how she’s been shaped by these experiences. I was entirely grateful for her courage and generosity in sharing herself with us through The Most Fun Funeral.