Fringefeed Woodside

The Three Deaths of Ebony Black

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The Three Deaths of Ebony Black, is a dark, farcical comedy romp, following the death and funeral of the titular character, told through the stunning use of puppets and song.

The two performers and creators, Amberley Cull and Nick Pages-Oliver, take the audience through a touching and funny portrayal of a funeral with a number of unfortunate mishaps and misunderstandings, sensitively guiding the audience through themes of grief, loss and family with a dry sense of realism and humour.

The Three Deaths of Ebony Black is Fringe at its best, with a minimal set, and just two performers doing what they so obviously love.

The small setting at Lazy Susan’s perfectly suits this charming, intimate show, allowing the audience to engage with the performers at close range.

The show commences with a beautiful portrayal of the death of Ebony Black, which had the audience enraptured; at times laugh out loud funny, and at times reaching for their tissues.

Cull and Pages-Oliver’s puppetry is beautiful to watch, particularly the marionette of Ebony herself at the start, through to comedy scenes with each performer operating several puppets at once.

The puppets themselves, handcrafted by Danny Miller, perfectly suit the story and setting.

As the show moves through a series of scenes describing the life and funeral of Ebony Black, the fast-paced comedy was bizarre, funny and engaging.

The lyrics are witty, however with the fast pace I found myself concentrating to get every word, with some of the lovely dialogue garbled and lost.

There were a couple of technical mishaps during the show, however these were handled with aplomb.

The music, created by Cull and one of WA’s best local composers, Robert Woods, is an elegant counterpoint to the story, however at times Culls’ singing was drowned out by a very loud backing.

Despite the topic, the show is suitable for all ages with no nudity, swearing or strong themes.

Ebony Black is charming, eccentric and a lovely hour of music and puppetry definitely worth a watch.

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Lorna-Mackie

Review by Lorna Mackie on 20 Jan 2019

In the theatre for more than 20 years, with numerous award winning shows under her belt, Lorna is passionate about supporting the arts community, and holds management roles in two theatre organisations. Lorna is excited to able to provide entertaining reviews to help people choose from awesome array of shows!