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Edinburgh Fringe 2022

A Eulogy for Roman

Written and performed by Brendan George

Genre: Interactive, Solo Performance, Solo Play, Solo Show

Venue: theSpace on North Bridge - Perth Theatre


Low Down

Milo has arrived in Scotland with his best friend who recently passed, Roman. He is holding a eulogy for him, in the hotel in which we are watching. We are there for the eulogy. He takes us through how he met Roman, why he was so important to him and the importance of their life points list. He has 5 tasks yet to finish and to manage this he asks us to help him. Willingly he gets people onstage who do, until the last task and the reveal of Roman leaves us all with a full story.


This was an exceptional performance from a young man, Brendan George, whose ability belied his years. From the beginning, in the full glare of the house lights he drew us in and worked us into his narrative with ease and little interruption from his flow. Because of the nature of his performance, the late arrival was well included, and this was an actor so comfortable in his skin with this show that I was smitten and in awe. It was not just his ease of performing, but the subtlety of his gestures and the connections he made and maintained. It allowed his communication with us to be wholly focussed in getting the story out, but in a wonderfully structured manner.
Of course, it all begins with an idea and then a script. The conception was sound. Eschewing the drama of the event itself – the death of someone closes – the story took a subtle approach which meant that the challenges were achievable within the studio space, the performance was framed in a believable context, and it was a story dependent upon the narrative than shock or emotional rawness. Rather than trying to wring the emotion from the death of Roman our guide gave us the emotional effect of someone in mourning a loss, burying a passage of time, rather than trying to show his falling apart and the tragedy of that loss. It focussed in on his human and humane condition – Blizzard Nights, Postal Polly, Dancing with your eyes closed. The script was beautifully poised; but the platform it provided was also exceptionally well used.
Having conceived the idea, Peter Charney then directed George with a high degree of skill. The audience participation and the nature of that can be tricky, and we got set pieces to help us along and keep it framed within the performance and the narrative. I did wonder if the audience participation – almost exclusively with American accents – had been planted but either they were not, or they are the equal in acting terms of George himself! Either way – bravo!
Theatre arts were minimal as it was designed to take account of its venue – the hotel rather than the theatre – but it had sufficient theatricality to make this an exceptionally impressive piece of theatre. I shall not spoil what the tasks were, nor the one left undone, or the identity of Roman. What I shall say is that by the time I got to the ending I was incredibly invested. I was working out who Roman was, had Milo murdered him, what significance was there in the body having been cremated…
I was wrong on every count.
But when I left, I was simply in awe of what I saw. It does not manage to travel new ground nor is it a radical new direction for storytelling, but it took simplicity and used it to the level I would have expected of an old hand onstage. George, with Charney have shown that I need to rethink my ideas because this was brilliant.
All I need to do now is find our playlist and remember that the difference between a floor and a dance floor is attitude…