The title of this particular show may lead you to expect certain things that the final product fails to deliver in every way. Intended to lead you gently and supportively through the process of death, this production leaves you clamouring for the end. This show is completely baffling, embarrassing, and pointless. I’m not sure whether it was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek or deadly serious; either way, there was something I (and, by all accounts, the rest of the audience) just wasn’t getting. There was no single redeeming feature about this production; it didn’t even have the common decency to be hilariously bad. It was just terrible.

The show consists of one man taking on a multitude of indefinite characters delivering monologues about death. The monologues are neither poetic nor revelatory and the whole piece feels devoid of dramatic merit or purpose. We learn nothing new about the process of death or how to deal with it. Combined with the indiscriminate style and tone of the production, one leaves the theatre feeling entirely unsure of how to react.

The directionless monologues are separated by short ‘musical’ interludes (I use the term ‘musical’ as loosely as possible). The sole performer constructs his backing tracks on stage with a loop machine, paying scant attention to the very basics of rhythm, tone, and tune. Once the overly loud tracks were completed, he then began ‘singing’, or rather screaming, ‘you are all going to die’. I defy anyone to decipher the purpose of any of these abstract tangents.

There is, of course, the possibility that this is all a hoax and the performer is fully aware of the atrociousness of his show and it is supposed to be amusing. Yet, as I mentioned before, aside from occasional titters borne of awkwardness, this piece is in no way hilarious. The production feels as though it has been cobbled together last minute from a jumbled selection of ideas; either that, or the actor lost a bet and his forfeit was to stand onstage and waste everybody’s time.

Reviews by Stephanie Bartlett

The Blurb

An exploration of the meaning of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, a book that prepares the listener for, and guides him through, the experience of death.