Friday, February 10, 2017

Looking Deadly: shape shifting actors inject life into a town’s rival funeral firms

The body of well known republican Tom McCarthy reposes in Lynch’s funeral home. Jane (played by Niamh McGrath) inherited the business from her father but local competition from Cost Less Coffins up the street means her finances are not healthy and the bank manager will soon be knocking on the door if the stress doesn’t invite the Grim Reaper to visit first. Rob (Keith Singleton) is her loyal yet under-appreciated mortician.

Looking Deadly is a black comedy directed by Amy Conroy that sets two funeral home businesses at each other throats while an array of quirky townspeople look on at the shabby dealings between the undertakers. There are no deathly silences but instead the theatre is filled with laugh out loud moments as the two actors shape shift between characters across the minimal black stage and set.

With a switch of the lights and spin of the coffin, the talented pair physically transform into Mick (the Michael O’Leary of the funeral home sector) and his hunched over son Seaneen. The death of local Doctor Mulhuddart provides the crisis point in the plot that finally stretches relationships to breaking point.

It’s a real treat. McGrath and Singleton deliver fifty five minutes of madcap physical and tongue-twisting verbal comedy together with synchronised gestures and beautiful accents that can’t fail to make you laugh.

Looking Deadly was performed in The MAC on Thursday 9 and Friday 10. Well worth catching the floral tributes along with the show as it tours Monaghan, Newry, Belmullet, Newbridge, Nenagh, Sligo and Carrick-on-Shannon.

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