Bereavement The Musical @ C Venues
A sketch-show musical the likes of off-Broadway classic I love you, You’re perfect, Now change, Bereavement – The Musical is an original work by Mairin O’Hagan and composer/accompanist Jeff Carpenter which explores, in the way I love you… did for dating, the effect of losing a loved one from angles: serious, humorous and touching.
All bases are covered: from not knowing whether you’re wounded enough to actively ‘play the death card’ to get out of obligations. Some deal with it by ignoring it, some deal with it by becoming reclusive, others fill the void by going out and 'getting their slut on.' There are those moving moments ever quintessential for musical theatre (“She’s not always on my mind, and I think she thinks that’s fine,") including a heart-wrenching scene between a father and his child after his first day as her primary care-giver after his partner has died.
Bereavement... takes a little time to find its feet owing to a slow beginning and a general ambiguity as to whether a narrative is going to emerge or not, but it has much to recommend it. The performances are accomplished and varied, and it manages to cut straight into the heart of long pondered existential questions such as whether or not it is wrong to have a wank when your mum’s dead (in a song that further establishes itself as a highlight by advancing the idea that after having a bereavement you become irresistible to the flirtations of the opposite sex.)
Musical theatre fans will enjoy this contemporary work although it may not convert those who are already averse to its emotional and comic norms. Still, there is much to be said for Playing the Death Card.