The title of the show and the flyer drew me; a quirky, somewhat grim topic which could make for an entertaining show, and a brilliantly formatted flyer boasting of several five star reviews at other comedy festivals. Sadly however, the show didn’t quite deliver.
Credit to solo actor Michael Burgos for attempting a brave one-man show, taking on a variety of exaggerated accents to envision a funeral scene where each character presents a less than attractive memory of the coffin occupant, in comic contrast to usual funeral proceedings. Whilst this idea has potential, each character was portrayed too dramatically for it to be believable, and though this was intentional the approach didn’t ring well with the audience.
The soliloquies were too long and there was not enough action in the plot to grip the audience, the only saving grace being Burgos’ interactions with his hand-picked participants. He surprised one woman by springing a veil over her to act as the deceased’s wife, this prompting a great deal of laughter, and there were other similar instances which allowed his true comedic charisma to show through. Unfortunately however, these moments were few and far between, and had he focussed more of the show around his audience it would perhaps have been more of a success.
In conclusion, the Eulogy is an over-marketed show for which audience expectations were too high, causing a greater fall which only served to further undermine Burgos’ confident delivery and creatively thought-out performance. Better labelled as a theatre piece rather than comedy.
The Eulogy is on until the 28th August at the Underbelly, Cowgate, Edinburgh, 20:00
Image credit: edfringe
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