Two dark comedies, one great night: Aches and Lakes Review

Aches and Lakes was quite an interesting show; incredibly different to any I have attended in a long time. Its unique twist of actually being two separate shows instead of one had me intrigued. I wondered whether the shows would somehow crossover; tell stories that where similar, but told from different perspectives. I was very fascinated by the idea.

Whilst I was wrong about a crossover, they both shared themes of loss and grief. However, each show presented a different phase of the grieving process. The loss is fresh for those in The Many Funerals of Beck Fitzgerald. Whereas, in By the Door to the Bonehouse, the family has dealt with their loss over time in their own ways and now they have come together which has stirred up those old feelings.

The first show By the Door to the Bonehouse by Rupert Williamson, was quite different to what you might expect from that title. It was about three siblings, who haven’t seen each other in years. Though we are never really told why though the death of their parents was mentioned a lot as was the division of their inheritance. It was a tale rife with unreliable narrators, with each sibling telling their own version about the last swim in the lake, which involved a cage resting on the lake’s floor.

We were never sure who was telling the truth, which was intriguing and each of the siblings were quite erratic in their own way revealing little pieces of information that we as the audience never knew whether we could believe. The only thing I felt was lacking was the ending. It left too many questions hanging, which sibling died? Who was the murder? How did things escalate in that manner? I understand that was the point, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the cliffhanger ending, I just wanted a little closure, so that we could finally put the last piece of the puzzle together.

Overall, it was an interesting tale, with quite a few humorous parts whilst the siblings bickered.

Aches and Lakes cast standing in a lake

Photo Credit: Nic Warrand

The second show The Many Funerals of Becket Fitzgerald by Harry Goodlet was my favourite show of the night; the characters were diverse, interesting, and hilarious. This show told the story of Fitzgerald funerals, a funeral home run by Beck Fitzgerald and his wife, where they specialize in providing a personal service associated in caring for the loved ones. However, Beck’s world is turned upside when tragedy strikes and his wife passes away, his only solace is the return of his estranged daughter.

This doesn’t seem like it would be set up to be incredibly funny, but when you include the bumbling ‘atheist’ priest Father West, and the two funeral enthusiasts wanting a lifetime membership and complete access to the funeral home, there are numerous exchanges that just so bizarre but just work so well. I commend Harry Goodlet for finding the right balance between the heart wrenching moments of grief and sadness with the humour, neither ever felt forced or out of place. 

Overall, it was an enjoyable experience, and I sincerely hope they continue it in the future. Two shows in one, double the entertainment, and one great night.

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About Mikaela Zarifis

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I live my life amongst the pages of books, with my head in the clouds, and a cup of tea by my side. Recent graduate of Curtin’s Professional Writing and Publishing course. Instagram: @mikaelazarifis