Star rating: ***
Venue: Underbelly Cowgate (Venue 61)
The audience are warmly greeted by performers Bella Heesom and Eva Alexander as they enter and even encouraged to hug each other at one point. That may sound cringeworthy but it’s actually a nice touch – you may need come to need one during Heesom’s instructive guide to dealing with bereavement, centred around the death of her father.
It’s beautifully presented, continuously illustrated by an animated backdrop that’s like a child’s picture book for adults which provides useful steps for dealing with grief. Skilfully, this never becomes mawkish or indulgent as Alexander is always on hand to lighten the mood as a quite excellent comic foil, who provides the production with most of its laughs and all of its music. The latter stages of the show are a little rushed (sadly Heesom’s father isn’t the only death she has had to deal with) and seems to be searching for an almighty catharsis which it can’t quite pull off.
However, this is a genuinely valuable – and surprisingly enjoyable – piece of work that could prove useful to a great many people if it reaches the larger audience it deserves.
Until 28 August. Today 1:10pm.