Tracey Cosgrove – Half a Wake

By Colin Flaherty.

Planning your own funeral is rather dour topic for a comedy show. As well as pointing out the ridiculous aspects of the process using stand up, Tracey Cosgrove impressed upon us her desire to make this an event of joy that replicated the best parties she experienced whilst alive.

Tracey didn’t go into a lot of detail about the actual planning of her own funeral and wake, as you would have expected from the blurb. Instead she used the central concept to tell some amusing stories from her own life either related to funerals (the passing of her Uncle Brian and the shenanigans of her cousin Doug) or parties in general (parties she attended in her youth and sending her young children off to their friends).

The stories were told by a bubbly and enthusiastic Tracey who charmed the audience with her crazy tales from suburbia. Despite the somewhat tenuous links to the main plot of planning her own funeral, she was able to weave these threads together and execute some clever call-backs towards the end. To demonstrate that she had actually done some homework on the topic, she presented some fun jokes about various cremation options that climaxed with a crazy series of puns.

There was a segment of audience participation as we finally got to see a run through of her memorial service. A volunteer was enlisted to show a sequence of photos as pre-recorded audio plays. It began in a delightfully silly manner with Tracey singing the descriptions of the images but soon descended into enthusiastic babbling about everything and anything. It was an excuse to put events into perspective with some family photos and allowed her set things up for her showstopper.

Tracey showed off her character comedy chops with an impressive finale. It was hilariously inappropriate and over long, but that was the whole point of this crazy scenario. She committed whole-heartedly to the character by maintaining the illusion whilst interacting with the audience as we filed out of the room. It was a fun theatrical ending to an solid and amusing stand up show.

Half a Wake is on at 3 degrees.