Review: Funeral Flowers, Bunker Theatre - getting drawn into the world of a 17-year-old trainee florist
Emma Dennis-Edwards has created a character that gets under your skin - you laugh with her, feel for her and desperately want someone to ask the right questions and be there for her.
Angelique's boyfriend Micky is in trouble with his gang leader and wants her to help him out - if she doesn't he says she'll be making his funeral flowers.
The 17-year-old at the centre of Emma Dennis-Edwards' play is living with a carer while her mum is in prison, learning floristry at college and dreams of setting up her own business.
A cascade of flowers down the back wall of the performance space together with buckets of flowers give the theatre a hint of that wonderful florist's scent and Angelique a place to escape the outside world.
Flowers are what make Angelique happy and she has natural talent - her posh tutor says - but the problem is that the rest of her life is threatening to derail everything.
Dennis Edwards performs all the characters, drawing us into Angelique's world at times talking directly to the audience, at others inviting us to move closer and sit 'in the bedroom' at the party where something horrible and nasty happens.
Angelique is feisty, bright and fun. She is streetwise and has her head screwed on but loneliness and the need to be loved and to love someone can cloud her judgement.
She's been let down by many of the grown-ups in her life but has good instincts - which she doesn't always follow. She's mature for her age but that doesn't mean she always knows how to deal with difficult situations.
Dennis-Edwards has created a character that gets under your skin - you laugh with her, feel for her and desperately want someone to ask the right questions and be there for her.
Funeral Flowers is a beautifully observed, spirited, poignant and powerful play about a 17-year-old navigating life on her own and I'm giving it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
It's 60 minutes long and is at the Bunker Theatre until May 3.
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If you are looking for more feisty female characters Emilia at the Vaudeville is a great watch.
A not so satisfying watch - in my view anyway - is Admissions at Trafalgar Studios. Nothing to do with the performances, the play just made me very angry.