LONDON – This February, Fine Mess Theatre presents a brand new play as part of VAULT Festival 2019, centering around one of our most common theatre tropes – death. But make no mistake, the company promises new perspectives on issues of grief with scripted scenes and audience interaction in A Wake In Progress to offer a relatable and moving tale of love, death and funerals.
A young person lies dying, but they aren’t going to go out without one final gesture: something that everyone will remember them by. More specifically, in a challenge to audiences, this production examines the concept of being present at your own funeral. If you had the opportunity to attend, to experience the outpouring of love, honesty and thoughts that would be revealed, would you go? And what would this look like?
With an interrogation on how we really feel about the subject of death, and a final scene that will differ each night based on the input of the audience during the performance, A Wake in Progress invites audiences to begin an investigation considering what death means to them and even asking them to face up to their own fate. Engaging with funeral and death practices from all over the world, and educating and learning how we can celebrate these conversations.
Says playwright Joel Samuels: “I wrote this play to encourage us all to really think about how we live with our deaths and the deaths of others. At a time when British people are re-evaluating their understanding of how we commemorate and celebrate our dead loved ones – breaking with the old traditional ideas of funerals and death – it seems like a fantastic time to come see a play that puts you in charge of how a dying young person is going to be remembered! And it’s really fun and funny! I promise!”
Directed by Liz Bacon, with a cast comprising Andrew David, Amy Fleming, Molly Small Stella Taylor and Daniel Ward, A Wake In Progress then puts audiences in the driver’s seat as they form the lives of the characters on stage, creating a different back story and casting each night, and invites you to come laugh, cry and mourn with them each night.
A Wake In Progress runs from 6th to 10th February at the VAULT Festival Cage as part of the VAULT Festival 2019. Tickets available here