Death and the Human

Death and the Human is performing at the Space @ Jury’s Inn at 12.35pm.

Human, a recently deceased teenager, full of life (ironically) and unwilling to move on. Death, a twit. An eternity together in the afterlife. What could possibly go wrong? In this dark comedy, a conversation takes place in an afterlife where nothing is as it seems and the whole of forever is happening at the same time. Just don’t annoy the one person in charge of it all…

3 Bugs Fringe Theatre company from the University of Birmingham brings original play Death and the Human to the Fringe. An interesting look at death, suicide and the afterlife Death and the Human had the potential to be very funny.

With five characters, Death, Pestilence, Famine, War and the Human, the cast was very large for the absolutely tiny space at the Jury’s Inn. A venue not at all suited for a theatre production with dance movements it was a squeeze for the show which would have benefited from a larger stage so the audience could see all the action at once. At one point the performers were crawling up the aisle which was impossible for the majority of the audience to see and a bit disappointing as their dance skills were one of the more impressive qualities of the performance.


The script let the performers down – it tried to install comedy through a caustic character in Death but was not fully committed to this route and so where his remarks could have been more cutting and thus more funny they were a little tame. As well the actress playing the Human was talented but her lines were quite weak and she was difficult to relate to, which in a play about death vs humans the audience should really be relating to the human! The three actors playing Pestilence, War and Famine were engaging to watch and their physical scenes, each re-enacting a human disaster they had a part in, were very well thought through.


Generally the physical theatre and dance scenes were far stronger than the plot and acting unfortunately. In the future it might suit 3 Bugs Fringe Theatre to choose one aspect and improve it rather than attempting to do all at once (original writing, dance, acting). However, there were some very interesting points and the cast, in general, was strong. Definitely some emerging talents there.


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