A Wake in Progress

Underbelly Cowgate, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Thursday, August 1, 2019 - 15:00 to Sunday, August 25, 2019 - 16:00

'I'm sorry. But I need this. I need this authorial, this cinematic moment. No one will forget this. No one will forget me. Because when it comes to it I will be remembered in the most romantic, bullshit way possible...'  A young person is dying. But they aren't going to go out without one last hurrah, something that everyone will remember them by. And you’re invited. Fine Mess Theatre present a thoroughly modern play about death. Exploring language, expectations, grief, and the celebration (or lack thereof) of life. A Wake in Progress combines scripted and improvised scenes through audience interaction to offer a humorous yet moving tale of love, death and funerals. A warm hug and surprising celebration that will leave you laughing, crying and truly uplifted,  A Wake in Progress runs from Thu 1 to Sun 25 August, 3.10pm at Underbelly Cowgate Belly Dancer.


’I wrote this play to encourage us all to really think about how we live with our deaths and the deaths of others. At a time when British people are re-evaluating their understanding of how we commemorate and celebrate our dead loved ones – breaking with the old traditional ideas of funerals and death – it seems like a fantastic time to come see a Page |2 play that puts you in charge of how a dying young person is going to be remembered! And it’s really fun and funny, I promise!’ Joel Samuels


A Wake in Progress invites us to begin an investigation considering what death means to them, asking them to face up to their own fate. In a challenge to audiences, the show examines the concept of being present at your own funeral. If you had the opportunity to attend, to experience the outpouring of love, honesty and thoughts that would be revealed, would you go? And what would this look like? A Wake in Progress asks us to detach ourselves from the morbid fear of death and to instead celebrate these conversations. Engaging with funerals and death practices from all over the world, the show helps us to take this step, forming the lives of the characters onstage through an amalgamation of the audiences own experiences with friends, lovers and siblings. Funny and heart-wrenching, the final scene differs each night based on the input of the audience during the performance. A Wake in Time was recently performed at the Vault Festival, part of the programme Let’s Talk with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, where it received glowing reviews.


‘A truly special show that doesn’t shy away from the reality of death, but instead portrays it in all its glory and all its tragedy. Don’t let the topic put you off. You may shed a few tears, but I promise it will be worth it.’

★★★★★ A Younger Theatre


Fine Mess Theatre & Leila Sykes (United Kingdom)
United Kingdom
Underbelly Cowgate, 66 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1JX
Part of: 
02 August 2019 to 26 August 2019

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019