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

Funeral Flowers

“Engagingly performed and smartly written”
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Emma Dennis-Edwards’ piercing one-woman show, a Fringe First winner in Edinburgh last year, powerfully picks apart the individualism that often lurks beneath success-against-the-odds stories.

Seventeen-year-old Angelique’s mum is behind bars and her dad has long gone. But she has a plan: she wants to become a florist. She has some talent, and a caring foster parent too. Her life isn’t that bad. Or so it first seems.

Funeral Flowers is permeated with Dennis-Edwards’ warmth as a performer and a writer. She has a superb ear for the rhythms of speech. As a performer, she slips seamlessly between accurate accents as Angelique recounts her talks with the people in her life. As a writer, she has a sharp eye for personality-illuminating details.

A couple of semi-immersive moments in Rachel Nwokoro’s production are logistically awkward, but Dennis-Edwards’ gentle snark stops things feeling forced. As she gathers the audience around her on stage, the show at first feels like a breezy bit of fun. But when she starts to describe a night of spiralling abuse at the hands of her gaslighting boyfriend and his gang leader, it quickly becomes gut-wrenchingly intense.

Nwokoro directs with sensitivity, while Minglu Wang’s backdrop of fresh flowers – dramatically lit by James Dawson – across a monochrome set provides a delicate visual metaphor.

The production rips along for 60 minutes. Its brilliance lies in the bravery of its ending, which rejects new-start neatness. The audience is left suspecting that, for all her spirited determination, Angelique’s troubles might be more than she can overcome.

Actor and writer Emma Dennis-Edwards: ‘Your value is not based on your work’


Related to this Review

WolfieWolfie

Production Details
Production nameFuneral Flowers
VenueThe Bunker
LocationLondon
StartsApril 15, 2019
EndsMay 4, 2019
Running time1hr
AuthorEmma Dennis-Edwards
DirectorRachel Nwokoro
Set designerMinglu Wang
Lighting designerJames Dawson
CastEmma Dennis-Edwards
Stage managerAnna Sheard, Rike Berg
ProducerHarts Theatre, Power, The Bunker
VerdictEngagingly performed and smartly written one-woman show that’s both charming and challenging
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.
Sally Hales

Sally Hales

Sally Hales

Sally Hales

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
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Linked In
Pinterest
YouTube