Bizarre. 

The only word to sum up Festival Unwrapped’s latest piece. However, bizarre can be both very good or quite odd – depending on your taste. If you’ve got a thirst for something different, experimental and taboo, The Director is the play for you.

It’s a performance circling death, cremation, floral decorations, contracts and coffins – nothing is off limits.

Charismatic ex-funeral director, Scott Turnbull and artist Lara Thoms have joined forces to deliver a fresh new performance laden with bursts of humour, shocking financial figures, dark details and even the smell of a crematorium that’s creatively conveyed through the use of a microwave. The pair present the piece as an open discussion with the audience, mixed with a slight sales-pitch vibe – one of which you may expect from a car yard shark. Yet, it works. It effectively raises awareness on the taboo topic of death, especially that during a time of deep sadness for some, it’s a money making industry for others.

The Director: Image of Lara Thoms. Image via Clare Hawley

The Director: Image of Lara Thoms. Image via Clare Hawley

One of the highlights during the performance was the medley of most popular funeral songs and the witty descriptions of who they embodied accompanying them. Of course, there were snippets of ‘My Heart Will Go On‘, ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ and ‘Wind Beneath My Wings‘. But, surprisingly, missing from the mixtape were classics like ‘Ave Maria‘ and ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life‘ – songs that could have sparked interesting archetypes indeed.

The duo tastefully and cleverly balances the dark topic with reality and empathy. They force you to question and think about what you would do when the time comes to prepare for the funeral of a loved one. Would you have the funds? Have you discussed what your loved one would want? And, what new and progressive burial and cremation techniques will be ‘normal’ at the time of your own death?

The Director is a refreshing, confronting and as we said it, bizarre, piece of theatre, but one you should see, if anything, to give you a deeper understanding of the taboo topic.

If you’d like to see The Director, part of Festival Unwrapped, get in quick as all performances will wrap up Sunday 19 May.

The Director: Feature Image Image of Scott Turnbull. Image via Clare Hawley
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