By Jen Bolsover
Sweet, gentle and quietly devastating, Liz Rothschild’s “live show about death” is perhaps the only show on the Fringe where you can watch a woman weave her own coffin. In fact, it’s hard to imagine that anyone will have been in and out of their coffin as frequently as Rothschild by the time she requires it for its final use.
Drawing on her work as a celebrant and burial ground manager, as well as her own personal experiences with grief, Rothschild fills an hour with stories and information. It’s educational without feeling didactic, encouraging the audience to think about their preferences concerning death and joyfully sharing the news that our options are less limited than we think. There are tales of corpses taken on final journeys, post-cremation circumnavigation of the law, and imaginary funerals for South Korean people as a tool for managing mental health.
Although it’s a very emotional and heartfelt show, it steers clear of sentimentality and is resolutely secular in its approach. Rothschild’s welcome is for everyone, whatever their beliefs, and it is her open-heartedness that makes this performance lecture so successful.