Putting the fun back into a family funeral

Bonnyrigg actors Cassie Gaughan and Jack Elliot in rehearsals for the play For the Love of Cousins.
Bonnyrigg actors Cassie Gaughan and Jack Elliot in rehearsals for the play For the Love of Cousins.

A Bonnyrigg playwright and actor will kick-off the Scottish tour of his new comedy drama about a family funeral in his hometown on Saturday.

Jack Elliot’s ‘For The Love of Cousins’ is a play put on by his Blazing Hyena Theatre Company, taking a comical look at the emotions such an event can evoke in family members.

Jack said: “It’s kind of a story about grief, with the emotion completely exaggerated in a way. One of the cousins has brought the family together to reminisce about the granny, it’s all set in one room in real time, it’s just that hour before they get picked up to go to the funeral. Their nerves are shot to pieces, everything comes out and grudges start to come to light.

“Most of my writing is just working class writing, so people should relate to it at all ages. This show is about grief and how people deal with it.

“First and foremost it’s a comedy, it’s tongue and cheek in a way about how we are all going to go at some point.

“At the end of the day there are seven cousins, they are not all going to get along, they grew up together but they are now aged between 18 and 30 so their lives are completely different. It’s based completely on my experiences at funerals, on how people react.

“This show was written in 2015 and we did a wee preview which got really good feedback and people wanted it back. My cousins saw the preview but they took it well.”

For the Love of Cousins will tour around the country this month, kicking off on Saturday, 7.30pm at Bonnyrigg Bowling Club. Jack said: “It’s literally just to build up an audience around the country, taking the play to places where people don’t normally have a theatre. We are Edinburgh-based and have never been outside Edinburgh so it’s also a showcase for the actors, as well as for the company to see if it works. It’s an ambitious tour, taking nine actors to play places where we haven’t got an audience, so we have been very busy with promotion.

“It’s exciting to bring a piece to Bonnyrigg as so much of my writing is influenced by Bonnyrigg and the people, this play in particular.”

Tickets £10 from www.blazinghyena.com and 07706468508.