Moribund: a show about death and the afterlife that fails to get a rise out of the audience. It’s not that it’s a terrible production but death is a once in a lifetime experience, so there needs to be more pizzazz in a 50 minute slot entirely dedicated to it.

With every song, dance, and speech about death it’s maddening that they fail to say anything profound or interesting on the topic.

The show follows the tale of the recently deceased Eleanor Hush as she is talked to at length by Driscoll Bleak. Who or what is Driscoll Bleak? That’s never made clear, he seems to have emotions and memories of life but also seems to be Charon (ferryman of the dead). Early on it’s made clear that Eleanor must go on a journey if she wants to live again but we never get a sense that she has moved from the original spot. It all leads up to a tacked-on and forced moral.

Each set piece goes on for too long as they aren’t filled enough ideas to justify their length. There is good stuff in there but it gets drowned out by the mediocre. A dance routine about rigor mortis is a fantastic idea but fails in its execution.

The onstage duo try their hands at most of the talents you’d expect in cabaret but they don’t excel at any of them. It would be best if they focus on one skill to build on and work around that.

The script is well researched and there is a lot of nice titbits of information doled throughout the show. Expanding further on information that isn’t common knowledge and turning them into routines might be a way forward. They have a talent for coming up with ideas but not the skill to extract the potential.

Death is a taboo subject and people can get easily offended but with Gimcrack Production’s apparent attempt to avoid any offensive or squeamishness, they fail to put any emotion into the affair. The production comes across as clinical and cold. With every song, dance, and speech about death it’s maddening that they fail to say anything profound or interesting on the topic.

Reviews by James W. Woe

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The Blurb

Young Eleanor Hush awakes to find herself at her own funeral with no memory of how she got there. Presiding over the service is Driscoll Bleak, funeral director and laconic guide to the post-mortem world. To find out how she died – and potentially regain her life – she must confront the realities of death that lurk in the shadow. The second show from Gimcrack Productions, this explosive theatrical-cabaret offering delves into death, dying and the spectre of mortality that haunts us all. Grotesque, joyful and disturbing; join Eleanor on a quest from which there may be no return…

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