Rob Drummond's new play Eulogy puts the 'dead' into deadpan (4 stars)

Rob Drummond's new play Eulogy puts the 'dead' into deadpan

Benny Young and Joyce Falconer

Jaw-dropping, riotous comedy with a genuinely unexpected surprise

How will we be remembered? What legacies are left behind on our passing? Rob Drummond's play, a follow-up to 2011's Top Table is ostensibly a jaw-dropping, riotous comedy which posits these questions, and all with a Bible black wit.

Benny Young, as minister Andy with more than a touch of the Reverend IM Jolly in his ashen faced delivery, presents a unique funeral service to his deceased brother Sandy (Callum Cuthbertson, appearing on video) and his remarkable life: the restraining order on Jackie Bird, his stint testing cat food, and his many ill-fated suicide attempts. To say that Sandy was a bit of a wrong 'un is something of an understatement – Drummond's humour occasionally borders on absurdist, were it not so dark-hued.

Gallows humour aside though, there is a furious performance from Joyce Falconer as estranged wife Anne, a vision in leopard print with a score to settle. And her rendition of Sandy from Grease is absolutely barnstorming, right down to the last 'why-iy-iy?'. A catalogue of acrimony and sorrow seeps out, as she presents her case to the congregation, rendering proceedings more trial than funeral service. And his deadpan brother's many issues with the departed become an unexpectedly moving testimony to uncomfortable home truths and the strength and resilience of the ones we love unconditionally .

It's all so assured under David Overend's pacy direction, with an order of service shared between audience members, that when the bizarre twist comes, it is a genuinely unexpected surprise. And no spoilers here, but the end is just the beginning of a bigger story about trust, love and seizing any big opportunity in life. Amen to that.

Oran Mor, Glasgow until Sat 21 Apr; Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 24–Sat 28 Apr.

A Play, A Pie and A Pint: Eulogy

New play by Rob Drummond

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