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Fringe Review: Everybody Dies in December

By Devan Marr on June 20, 2016

This touring Fringe show was seen and reviewed at the London Fringe Festival, May 31 to June 11, 2016

From the woman who brought us Roller Derby Saved My Soul comes another great show in Everybody Dies in December. I was lucky to see Nancy Kenny’s very first performance of her new one woman show at the London Fringe. Despite several mix ups with scheduling and venues, she still managed to draw a small crowd to her venue and they were in for a treat. In the interest of full disclosure, I will say I’ve known Nancy Kenny through the Fringe for several years and have always enjoyed her work.

Nancy Kenny plays the role of a part owner of her family’s funeral home. She tells the audience of what it was like growing up in a family in the business of death. How she’d sneak into the off-limits rooms and became convinced her family was more than just simple undertakers. They were in fact alien bounty hunters. While she eventually grows out of the illusion, Nancy’s character takes her place in the family business and the audience gets to hear the highs and the lows of the funeral circuit.

In typical fashion, Nancy Kenny puts on an excellent performance. The writing is witty, the scenes informative. Much of the dialogue is between Nancy and the deceased. While the conversations can be generally light hearted, the overall mood of the show is pretty dark. There’s a reveal at the end that nicely ties it all together. I wont spoil it for the rest of you.

There’s a little bit of French thrown in which should be a nice touch for the Ottawa crowd. The set mostly consists of a table, an e-cigarette and Ms. Kenny in the typical black suit. She does a lot with very little and the focus of the piece is really the actor and not the surroundings. While not as high energy as Roller Derby, Everybody Dies In December is another excellent show that will likely become a fan favourite.

For those of you who wanted to learn about the inner workings of a funeral home without having to visit one, now is your chance. Everybody Dies In December should definitely make it onto your Fringe list.

Everybody Dies in December by Nancy Kenny is playing at the Ottawa Fringe Festival in Arts Court Theatre on Monday June 20 at 9:00pm and Tuesday, June 21 at 7:00pm.

Tickets are $12.