Florence Minder comes to terms with loss in Good Mourning! VOstBil

This article is from 2013

Good Mourning! VOstBil

credit: Florence Minder

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy-drama examines the role of language in expression

Although the Institut Français has a year-round remit to champion the French language, it doubles as an intriguing Fringe venue. Florence Minder’s Good Mourning! VOstBil might be performed in English, but it connects to the grand European tradition of personal performances made by auteurs.

‘I was trained as an actress,’ Minder explains. ‘But I have been doing my own work for three years.’ Based on her own experience of grief, Minder’s monologue is a stand-up-style routine that questions the role of language in human experience.

Finding that her ‘French version’ was ill-equipped to deal with grief, Minder ‘introduced the American version’. Liberated by English – there are French supertitles – Minder is able to be funny about the stages of mourning. She continues: ‘When I found myself in a shitty situation, I started to live in English. I was in need of new words – like the Inuit people have a hundred words for snow. I needed more snows.’

Stripped down and humorous, Good Mourning! VOstBil satisfies the comedic demands of the Fringe while unashamedly addressing a serious matter.

Institut Français d’Ecosse, 225 5366, 13−18 Aug, 8pm, £10 (£8).

"Good mourning Vostbil" through the eyes of Karen Koehler (original drawing by Astrid de Man)

Good Mourning! VOstBil

Florence Minder. A probl'm? What kind of probl'm? Standing alone on a bare stage with just a rifle in her hands, totally nervous and depressed Swiss actress Florence Minder introduces an American version of herself to talk about that moment in life when shit happens. This superficial and explosive mask enables her to…

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