The one-woman Funeral Flowers follows a 17 year old Angelique, who is both played and written by Emma Davis Edwards. With a mother in prison, a father out of the picture and a wolf in sheep’s clothing for a boyfriend, Angelique has some hefty odds to overcome to pursue her dreams in floristry. Directed by Rachel Nwokoro, the plot begins on a positive note. Edwards performs in a colloquial manner, laid back she chats with the audience as if they have popped over for a cup of tea and a catch-up. But with the fourth wall broken, Angelique begins to let us in, and with it we discover her harrowing experience.
Minglu Wang’s set is vibrant, yet simple. A backdrop of flowers lined on strings is lit by LED lights, splashing vivid colour behind Angelique’s busy flower strewn desk. However, Angelique does not remain stationary in this performance space. The desk stands centre stage, but there are also stages to the left and right. She invites audience members to get involved, to move around to see and help her at certain points. But in the small space of the Bunker Theatre this left people cross legged crowded round the performance area, some crooning to see still in their original seats, it became slightly messy.
However, this should not detract from Edwards performance which is brilliant. She emulates other characters to exhibit conversations with them, she seamlessly slips in and out of contrasting voices and tones, portraying people from all walks of life with ease and many times, to great comic effect. With Angelique, Edwards is believable, drawing, yet a very brave young woman, who appears to use floristry as a vehicle to escape from her unfair reality, to dare to dream for better. Clinging to a plan to open her own shop as a florist I find myself truly rooting for her, sincerely hoping that she succeeds. 4/5
Review written by Daniel Elliman.
Funeral Flowers is currently showing until Saturday 2nd May at the Bunker Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…