A suspenseful opening – the woman we will later know as The Murder enters her house and does or does not commit murder. In the row behind me, someone laughs – is this a comedy?
Fast forward to the present (or is it the future?) The Murder arrives at the centre and is introduced to her “Carer” or, as the third character in the play likes to describe him, her “New Friend”. The New Friend takes The Murder home, where the atmosphere is more awkward first date than open prison, although there are no knives in the kitchen – The Carer is very nervous about knives.
Time passes. The Carer takes notes on his voice recorder. “The Murderer likes music”.
There is much discussion of sandwiches.
Time passes. They play badminton, go to the opera, eat sandwiches.
Rehabilitation progresses. The Murder or Non-Murderer or “Patient” does well and is fast tracked. She moves on. The Carer (Friend/Jailer) doesn’t – he stays in prison or whatever it is with only his voice recordings for company.
At just under an hour, The Murder is a slight piece based on the poem of the same name by Luke Kennard. Clown Funeral’s dramatisation is less confrontational than the poem and, mercifully, less bloody; concentrating more on the relationship between The Carer and The Murderer which is played out as a sort of reverse Stockholm Syndrome.
This performance featured strong performances from Patrick Tobin (as The Carer), Ella Tebay (as The Murderer) and Freddie Paul (as Everyone Else). The staging was simple but effective, although the background music occasionally threatened to drown Tebay’s dialogue.
To be fair, I thought that the play was a little on the weird side, but it may be that surreal comedy isn’t quite my thing as it was well-received by the rest of the audience. Clown Funeral is a talented company with high production values and I would certainly recommend anyone who is interested in the contemporary theatre scene to check out any future productions.