THE GRIN REAPER

Globe Theatre, 312 Main St, Palmerston North

20/11/2019 - 21/11/2019

Production Details



Why is DEATH finding Easter eggs at temporarily fatal traffic accidents? Why is there a global shortage of fairy dust? How is The Easter Bunny financing her ever growing need for eggs? Exactly why was DEATH thrown out of its band The Four Hoarsemen? Who is the sinister The Amputation Angel and what does she do with the severed limbs she buys? For that matter, what does The Tooth Fairy do with the teeth she buys?

Dark humour aplenty, mixed with lighter moments that almost immediately turn in unexpected directions as DEATH and friends tell an accessible and funny story that answers many of these questions in this romp as mythological creatures battle the conflict between their consciences and fulfilling their assigned roles but you’ll have to come to the show to discover what they are.

Caution: Not suitable for children. Any health or lifestyle advice given is only unintentionally helpful.

The Globe, Main Street, Palmerston North
20th & 21st November 2019
6:45pm
Tickets $15 through the Palmy Comedy Site.

Plot:

Scene 1. DEATH is having a bad day. Things start OK with it’s regular hospice run then it attends a fatal car crash to discover that The Easter Bunny (“Buns”) has revived the driver. They argue & Buns reveals that quality demands & high prices have forced her into the nefarious practice to allow her to sell limbs to The Amputation Angel.

Scene 2. Buns & The Tooth Fairy (“Toothy”) meet in a cafe where they discuss how DEATH caught Buns in the act. The Amputation Angel & Buns’ sex positive lifestyle are expanded on.

Scene 3. Famine & DEATH meet in the same cafe. Some bad blood is aired while Famine tries to convince DEATH to rejoin the band.

Scene 4. DEATH and Toothy at a cafe. They discuss DEATH’s fears for Buns’ safety & reveal that The Amputation Angel doesn’t really exist.

Scene 5. HR confronts DEATH at an accident, tries to get it to betray Buns. For once bureaucracy betrays HR.

Scene 6. The resolution. DEATH & Buns depart the stage hand in hand. What? Is this a rom com or something? Thankfully not.

There are short (1 to 2 minute) monologues between scenes to allow the other performer time for a costume change 

Characters, in order of appearance:

DEATH: Pronouns It/Its. Transports recently deceased humans into the afterlife.  Does not understand why humans don’t like it. DEATH considers itself an entertainer, but does not differentiate between wars & rock concerts and it is still bitter about being thrown out of its former band “The Hoarsemen” (i.e. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse). Julia says “The big D is a really fun character to write for, it doesn’t lack empathy, but simply doesn’t connect with people this makes it a great mouthpiece for some incredibly dark humour that I could never say as myself.”

The Easter Bunny: Pronouns She/Her (probably). Former anthropomorphic personification of  the return of life and fertility in the spring, now a deliverer of chocolate eggs. The play centres around her desperate attempts to finance her supply of chocolate for the eggs with many references to her (off-duty, off-stage) highly sex positive outlook carried over from her former role. Tessa says “Easter Bunny comes across as a bit sweet and innocent even though she has, quite a sharp mind.”

The Tooth Fairy: Pronouns She/Her. Trader in baby teeth since 1908. Financially secure for undisclosed reasons, but she does manufacture & sell knockoff fairy dust. Tessa says “She is very practical and tends to be a bit like the school dental nurse about oral hygiene.”

Famine: Pronouns uncertain. DEATH’s former bandmate & rival in The Hoarsemen who  is currently transitioning to a new role. Julia says “This is either the most thoroughly evil character I have ever written or a neo-liberal” Tessa says “As a strong unionist it is such fun to play a character who is so opposed to everything I believe in.”

HR: Pronouns It, It’s. Humourless, pedantic bureaucrat. It’s primary purpose in “life” is to create problems for the front-line staff with crazy corporate policies. Julia says “I worked for many years in corporate environments, so I made HR a demon” Tessa says “HR comes across as a bossy  spinster who doesn’t have much of a life outside of her job.“

War, Pestilence & The Amputation Angel are referred to but are not currently expected to make on-stage appearances. 


Cast:
Julia Clement as DEATH & The Tooth Fairy
Tessa Clement as The Easter Bunny, Famine, The Tooth Fairy & HR

Crew:
Julia & Tessa Clement


Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Sketch , Comedy ,


Slick writing & dry humour survive stuff-ups

Review by Alexandra Bellad-Ellis 21st Nov 2019

The future has been tough on some of our favourite mythological figures. Death is overworked and depressed following his dismissal from his band The Four Hoarsemen. He is also worried about his friend the Easter Bunny, who is having some serious cash flow issues: catering to all the differing needs of a modern public is an expensive business. In an attempt to generate funds she is bringing people back from the dead to sell their body parts to the mysterious ‘Amputation Angel’. But who so this mysterious angel? And what really happened with that band?

Played as a two hander with the two actors, Julia and Tessa Clement, Death attempts to keep up with his schedule while helping his friends and fielding visits from other mythological figures like the Tooth Fairy, Death’s former band mate Famine and the dreaded HR.

The play is written by Julia and Tessa Clement as a series of scenes linked together by sections of stand-up comedy. The writing is slick, filled with dry humour, often of a political nature. The humour still manages to come through despite some serious technical and script difficulties experienced by the actors: costumes and props going awry, mix ups and a heavy reliance on the prompt all befall the actors on this occasion.

Grin Reaper is on at The Globe Theatre for two nights only, the 20th and 21st of November as part of the Palmerston North Comedy Festival. This show is not suitable for children.

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