Please Don't Cry (At My Funeral)

Please Don't Cry (At My Funeral) isn't exactly the show advertised. After submitting their application to the Fringe (so the story goes) Josie Dale-Jones and Isabel Della-Porta decided they would have to drop out. They then decided that actually, that was the worst thing they could do, and quickly constructed a show around a mixture of the story they originally intended to tell and their experiences in making the show.

A tightly put-together hour's entertainment that will almost certainly make you laugh and might even make you think.

In practice, the show takes the form of a flip-chart presentation. Dale-Jones and Della-Porta narrate (with many digressions and whimsical jokes) the events that led to them putting on the show you are now watching. Interspersed with the presentation are key scenes from the show they never quite got round to making. It's all rather charming, even if does occasionally lack coherence.

Dale-Jones and Della-Porta make an excellent double-act. They are clearly extremely fond of each other, and although some of their bonhomie is scripted, there is a sincere underlying warmth to it. It is a pleasure to spend time in their company. They are also very funny and have a reasonable comic range. They make jokes, indulge in the occasional bit of slapstick, and generally keep the audience very much on side.

The show does feel a bit disjointed, though. It hovers on the edges of several different potential shows, as if it isn't quite sure what it wants to be. Although it manages to reach a satisfying conclusion, resolving both the 'real' and the fictional stories, the show never quite loses its sense of disjointedness.

Despite this, however, the show is a tightly put-together hour's entertainment that will almost certainly make you laugh and might even make you think.

Reviews by Grace Knight

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The Blurb

Lucy and Rosie are cousins. Until they were eight they were best friends. They haven’t seen each other since their mothers fell out. That was 16 years ago. Following their grandmother’s dying wishes, they resurrect a childhood play and perform it at her funeral. She hopes it will make them forget their differences... A heart-warming and uplifting comedy about our desire for happy families. ‘Delivered to perfection’ ***** (Pick of the Fringe, Stage Won, Spaghetti Junction 2012).