The Most Fun Funeral!
Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian, Wellington
18/02/2011 - 19/02/2011
A life-affirming, non-cynical, hour-longshow about death, joy, ghosts, and zombies.
Only 2 shows!!!
Friday, February 18th, 7pm
Saturday, February 19th, 7pm
The Fringe Bar, 191 Cuba Street,
on the corner of Vivian
Tickets at www.dashtickets.co.nz
& at Dash! outlets in Wellington
$10 Regular, $8 Concession
Universal Fact: Everyone Dies.
Universal Truth: Some die in a monumental, epic, joy-filled explosion of awesomeness.
New to Wellington from Los Angeles, comedian Anne Brashier hosts a performance party about death, joy, and zombies. This highly interactive solo show explores the dark, depressing, awkward world of funerals through the magic of song, dance, jokes, and fireworks!
An expert at losing parents, Anne takes a gleefully irreverent approach to putting fun in funerals. Daring, unexpected, a little like Sarah Silverman, Anne’s vibrant exploration of grief will have you laughing in the face of death!
Wellington is the premier stopon Anne’s tour:
Later in 2011 The Most Fun Funeral will also be a part of the Los Angeles Fringe Fest and the New York Fringe Fest.
Get ready to have the best time of your life . . . and death.
Anne Brashier: Writer, Performer, Producer
Anne has performed stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy at Improv Olympic, The Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and The Groundlings. She has also performed with such award-winning Los Angeles theaters as The Actors’ Gang, Cornerstone Theater Company, Rogue Artists Ensemble. She has choreographed several award-winning short films and musicals, and she feels lucky to have a life full of adventure.
Robin Kerr: Director
Robin is a recent graduate of Toi Whakaari and Victoria University.
From heartbreaking to zany
Review by James McKinnon 19th Feb 2011
Anne Brashier is a very talented and charismatic performer. Those who aspire to a career in theatre should go, watch, and learn; those who simply seek the pleasures of the spectator will enjoy her engaging style and strong physical work.
Brashier’s playwriting skills, however, are less fully developed. The Most Fun Funeral is a solo work based on personal experience, and while it steers clear of the worst pitfalls of autobiographical monologues, there are moments where it feels like it might become the kind of show you leave feeling as though the performer has used you in lieu of his or her therapist.
Fortunately, it doesn’t, because Brashier is not driven by the need for attention or pity, but by the desire to draw upon her unique experience to make something special for her audience.
While loss and grieving are universal (given the play’s title I don’t think this constitutes a spoiler), the personal experience Brashier has dramatised is uncommon and exceptionally cruel. But her take on it is not at all sad or maudlin – again, as the title promises. This play is about life, not death, and Brashier’s performance is lively and, yes, fun.
The episodes range from heartbreaking to zany (Friday’s audience seemed a little destabilised, like they needed someone to give them permission to laugh at a funeral), and the play points out some important but rarely considered dimensions of grief, such as the guilt we feel when our emotional response to a tragedy does not match up with fictional depictions of grief in movies, TV, and plays, or the weird feeling that one is attempting unsuccessfully to mimic such behaviour for the sake of one’s relatives.
Neither Brashier’s performance nor her important insights into this subject get the mileage they ought to because the plot is underdeveloped and thin. The play clocks in at around 40 minutes, and it doesn’t have time to build to a real emotional payoff in that time. The story needs more detail and structure, and more sense of direction and journey.
I hope Brashier and her creative team will keep reworking the play for future performances, because it has the potential to be a much stronger piece.
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