Kill Me Now

Rhiannon Boyle

Edinburgh Fringe
Online Streaming
Aug, 2021

As I turned on my laptop to tune into The Edinburgh Fringes online performance of Rhiannon Boyle’s ‘Kill Me Now’ where I was very surprised to find out that it seemed like it was for a business model for funeral care; it would turn out to be quite something else, in fact it would become a deep fiction.

As I joined this zoom meeting I was a little confused that this would be part of the Edinburgh fringe. But I went with it and actually began to find it interesting and found it easy to follow. Her company called Joyful Endings had come about after inheriting the business from her father.

It was seemingly an interactive zoom meeting where we were all asked to contribute. We all fell for it sharing ideas about the world of deceasing; twisting it into something new and quirky. As the interactive side embellished she all of a sudden began to falter apologising for lapses of concentration.

In the chat box there was a person who called themselves M. At this time I felt easy and even trusting with Rhiannon directly responding to one of my comments, effectively talking to me. The person M began by throwing in a terrible comment upon the conduct of our host. Aiming at the heart he just about condemned her for keeping her father’s ashes for over two years.

She picked up the urn that was decorated as a huge Boddingtons beer pitcher while remaining to be upbeat about her loss, in a most professional and loving way. This prompted further exclamations from M who persisted in putting her down with force and abandon. We could very well see that it hurt her deeply.

In this moment she went from high confidence to very low aspiration looking dishevelled. And as we saw in front of our eyes was this transformation; she stopped short and was lost for words. After calling for a break to steady her-self, she had left microphone on and we listened to an excruciating phone call with her mother as she shouted at her mum totally upset.

The mood had changed, the eyes fell to the floor, this was no longer about shaping a business model. It was now about survival. She appeared back onscreen, eyes red and teeth chattering, with a defiant will to carry on.

With the plot thus revealing itself there was a moment of the interaction similar to the War of the Worlds original radio broadcast mid 20th and a little like the Truman show movie. She had transformed into a grieving councillor by taking her-self through each of the 5 stages of grief. M’s prompting continued viciously attacking her while she remained at the helm of the attending public eye, so rude and raw and had the power to take us a’back.

There was a real elation during the watching of this clever, extravagant think out of the box play, revealing this journey’s story but more measuring by its impact on us. The turn of a place of trust to a much truer place of great uncertainty was greatly examined and amplified.

To that extent there was an explosion in our senses that blew wide open a largeness that is still hard

to describe. Through simple footage and dialogue she achieved all of this and I was putty in her hands. Her Kill Me Now is an opportunity for self examination of turbulent times. As it finished was not as it began, all put together so we could feel immensity of joy and grief. We left her in tears asking ‘So this is grief’ in an open and unknowing way.

Daniel Donnelly

Posted on August 20, 2021, in 2021. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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