Michael Burgos: The Eulogy
A decent theatre piece that has buried itself in the wrong Fringe section
Can funerals be funny? It might not seem like the most obvious premise for a comedy show but Michael Burgos gives it his best shot as he inhabits a number of bizarre and unusual characters in this hour-long meditation on the life, death and legacy of our corpse, Thomas. Burgos is a wonderful chameleon, inhabiting their physical quirks and vocal ticks, including a particularly impressive turn as Thomas himself as a greedy young boy.
About 20 minutes in, the audience start fidgeting. The problem is that The Eulogy isn't quite comedy. There's nothing wrong with trying something new and different (the Fringe is, of course, meant to be a showcase for the unusual and unexpected) and this is offbeat, witty and eccentric but a world away from standard stand-up.
Clever, imaginative and gently humorous, there are strange dances and weird songs, but it fails to match the audience's expectations. And this disconnect doesn't work in Burgos' favour. It's not even out-there enough to shock and awe, instead it just bumbles along on an idiosyncratic path. The Eulogy needs to be rebranded and repackaged. It works as a peculiar one-man theatre piece but struggles to connect with a comedy crowd.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 28 Aug, 8pm, £9.50--£10.50 (£8.50--£9.50).