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Review: Funeral Games

Copenhagen Theater Circle's ludicrous conversations on religion, women and murder had this University Post reviewer in stitches

In 60 minutes Maria Lundbye brings to life one of the most outrageously funny scripts of our time.

Ironic and humorous are probably the two words that describe Wednesday night’s performance of ‘Funeral Games’ at the English-language Copenhagen Theater Circle. Written by Joe Orton in 1968, the play follows the Machiavellian plans of Pringle, an unscrupulous cult leader who intends to make everyone believe he has murdered his wife in order to increase his popularity with women.

However, matters turn a bit difficult for him when a journalist sets his mind into proving that he is innocent which leaves Pringle with no option but to recur to unorthodox methods to live up to his reputation as a murderer.

Elaborate repartee

The characters’ absurd personalities and their ludicrous conversations on topics such as religion, women and murder evoke not only laughter but also spark controversy when exposing the hypocrisy and self-interest hidden behind religious fanaticism; and what better place to humorise these issues than Denmark.

dance routine … setting … a lighthearted mood considering that the protagonist is being praised for killing his wife.

While preserving Orton’s witty and elaborate dialogues, the director Maria Lundbye has at the same managed to give every character a presence of their own, individually making a remarkable impression on the public but at the same time dynamically interacting with each other and executing the carefully elaborate repartee that makes Orton’s play so special.

Moreover, the play’s structure of a 60 minute one single act gives a sense of smoothness and lightness to the execution of the play which only adds to its overall comic tone. It can easily be said that the most remarkable aspect of the play is how in one hour Maria has managed to develop a dense storyline that deals with serious issues such as murder with the smoothness and comic relief that in one of the protagonist’s own words “not even Harrods could provide”.

Get a front row seat!

With crimes that go from adultery to murder, the characters graciously raise some strong criticism towards religion and morality which is what made the play so relevant back in the 1960’s when it first came out, but still manages to hit the spot even 55 years later. This is achieved by the actors carefully mastering the wittiness that comes with British sense of humour and accentuating the irony and dark comedy that Danes so much enjoy.

Moreover it is also worth mentioning that a dance routine is briefly used during the play which not only makes it impossible to overlook the talented Dominic Achaz’s versatility while at the same time giving an unexpected twist in the play’s tone and setting what could be called a more lighthearted mood considering that the protagonist is being praised for killing his wife.

My only piece of advice would be to get there early so you can get a seat in the front row where you can experience the performance the best and appreciate the details that have been put into this clever piece of work.

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