I’m at the pyramid cabaret for my second Fringe show of the Sunday, Let’s Talk About Your Death. This will be a full day, having led the Eucharist in the morning and then heading out here for at least four, If not five shows during the evening. Going to try and pack in as many as I can.
As an Anglican priest the topic of death is one that is quite constant in my life and so I’m looking forward to this show and seeing what I might learn from it.
As we enter into the venue, the performer gives us a small yellow envelope and tells us they contain our results. we are also told that we should not open it until we are told to do so. I decide I’m going to follow instructions rare for me but you know, I’ll humor him.
Let’s Talk About Your Death: K-Tel meets Dr. Phil
Let’s Talk About Your Death is staged as part talkshow, part infomercial. Writer-actor David Johnston plays both host Dr. Elliot Morris, the put upon floor manager. During the show Morris shamelessly plugs his machine, which accurately predicts how each person who uses it, will die. He also plugs his books, whose titles suggest Morris may know a lot about death, but very little about editing.
During the show Morris calls up a couple of audience members to be guests on his talk show. I was glad I was at the back, because this is the audience participation I try to avoid. Despite the shows aim to remove taboos around talking about death, these conversations, while funny. don’t break any real conversational ground.
As the show proceeds, things start to fall apart, most notably Dr. Morris. Eventually there is a phone-in segment, where an off-stage voice(the performer of this may change from show to show) relates a heartwrenching story about Dr. Morris’s death machine.
After this the real talk about death and dying begins. Leading to an exposition from Dr. Morris. and then some insight on death, dying, and living. This leaves the audience with a feelgood experience before they leave.
superficial treatment of death
Unlike Eleanor’s Story, nothing in this show hit beyond the surface. There certainly laughs, and you will enjoy the show on the comedic experience, but, in my books, that is about all their is to the show.
A couple of things to note. You need to sit near the front. The audience members pulled up on stage were not asked to speak loudly, and their conversational tones don’t carry. Also, bring a flashlight, because pre-show it was almost impossible to see the seats, and you don’t want to fall over one.
In case you’re wondering what the machine in Let’s Talk About Death had to say. I will die via trebuchet.