Welcome! This is your first free article. Get more free articles when you sign up with your email.

A Wake in Progress

“Interactive funeral play”

Fine Mess Theatre offers a new take on death. With A Wake in Progress, it presents an interactive piece of theatre that incorporates audience participation into the construct of a funeral. The big difference with this funeral is that the subject is hosting the event.

Rose has been diagnosed with cancer and refuses to continue with treatment. Her friends have decided that she has given up and initially baulk at her idea for a pre-funeral funeral. They come around, however, and thanks to an unconventional celebrant and further audience participation a good time is had by all.

While it may be important to talk about the process of death and dying more openly, this seems a remarkably unpalatable approach. Funerals have never been for the dead, but have always been evolving as a coping mechanism for the living.

Fine Mess argues its case in a very happy-clappy manner, desperately trying to keep the material upbeat, but nothing rings true. Especially the partially improvised acting scenes, pieced together with clichéd dialogue and predictable characters.

There’s plenty of enthusiasm behind this piece and it’s a provocative idea. But in the end, Rose’s pre-funeral funeral is just a final blowout – and they’ve been around for centuries.

Appropriate review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘sharp monologue about marriage’

Production Details
Production nameA Wake in Progress
StartsAugust 1, 2019
EndsAugust 25, 2019
Running time1hr
AuthorJoel Samuels
DirectorLiz Bacon
Set designerLydia Denno
Costume designerLydia Denno
CastAmy Fleming, James Westphal, Jasmine James, Katrina Allen, Molly Small
Stage managerSummer Keeling
ProducerFine Mess Theatre, Leila Sykes
VerdictUnconvincing construct that borders on passive aggression
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.
Paul Vale

Paul Vale

Paul Vale

Paul Vale

Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue

Invest in The Stage today with a subscription starting at just £3.98
The Stage
© Copyright The Stage Media Company Limited 2020
Linked In