And it is the world of the funeral parlour that provides the setting for this poignant, bittersweet, three-hander from Paddy Cunneen, which sees unlikely goings on in Jim McCaber's waystation for the dead.
McCaber, played here with a wonderfully wounded empathy by Jimmy Chisholm, is a dab hand at embalming the dead. But when the corpse in question lying before him is his ex-girlfriend, and love of his life, Margaret (Kate Donnelly), his thoughts inevitably turn to matters of grief, loss, and eventually, letting go - and why it is, that sometimes what you want isn't what you necessarily get, no matter how keen the longing. In that sense this is as much a cri de coeur about the passing of time, and what it means to have love slip through your fingers, as it is a trawl through remembrances of things past and a couple whose future together seems assured, but who end up following different paths.
Paul Cunningham, as Mr Hayes, the other corpse in the mortuary, acts as intermittent narrator here, soundtracking Jim's life in song, while on the mortuary slab the heartbroken undertaker and Margaret play out in flashback the fruits and failings of their relationship, from students full of the first bloom of young love, to the endgame of complacency.
Ironically, for a piece seemingly focused on the dead, Cunneen has carved a moving and funny testimony to the fact that it is our ability to love that makes us human, win or lose, and makes life worth living.
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