Monday, June 24

Bury Me – Riverside Studios

Bury Me is billed as a one act comedic drama which has been put on at the Riverside Studios as a part of their Bitesize Festival, a theatre festival meant to platform and uplift new and emerging theatre talent.

This story was told in two timelines. The timeline in which Nadia is trying to track down her brother Noah’s body to be able to hold his funeral and the timeline in which Noah and his family are preparing for him to undergo a surgery to treat his cancer. Being able to get to know the person that these characters lost was a great choice, so we can imagine the extent of Nadia’s pain more and more throughout the play.

The highlight of this show was the exploration of the strength of the sibling bond. Explored by Gillian Konko and Peter Todd through their characters Nadia and Noah respectively. There was tangible chemistry between them, their dynamic felt so realistic, it was genuinely heartwarming. Anyone who has a sibling will know the feeling of being annoyed by and having an overwhelming love for them in equal measure. Konko portrays the protective instinct of the older sister whose relationship with her family is complicated by illness. I appreciated that the sharing of the tangerines throughout the play was representative of the sibling bond to show their care.

The exploration of grief and how much of an impact losing someone has been done well. The writing by Mina Moniri of the scenes of a more dramatic nature was great, it highlighted that the love that we will always have in our hearts for those we love even when they’re not with us.

The cast was small, and everyone did a fantastic job with Juliette Imbert, Eleanor Dunlop and Fitzroy ‘Pablo’ Wickham playing several characters over the course of the story. Even though the writing of the jokes was often lacklustre and strained at times, the performances of these actors did carry a lot of the humour. The attempts at humour were often uncomfortably long and felt forced. Be warned that although this show is billed as 65 minutes, it was at least 80 minutes.

There was minimal set design, however due to the size of the studio and the acting from the cast it did not matter so much. They utilised the space by separating the stage into three parts: the funeral set, the bed acting as a hospital room and bedroom, tables and chairs that act as a storefront. It felt like the set was at times too busy despite the small cast, which may have been due to the small space.

The ending of the play was one of the most emotional moments, the performances of grief and love were outstanding, and it made me tear up. Overall, although dramatic and full of emotional performances, the comedy was unfortunately lacking, and I was left wanting more.

Bury Me is playing at the Riverside Studios until 4th February, details for booking can be found here: https://riversidestudios.co.uk/see-and-do/bury-me-97738/

Reviewer: Zara Odetunde

Reviewed: 1st February 2024

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.
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