One woman show Funeral Flowers shines a light on the adversity and hardships in life, and shows with sheer ambition and dedication one young woman is able to break away from the stigma and achieve her dream of becoming a florist.
The narrative follows 17-year old Angelique who lives in foster care because her mother is in prison and her father isn’t on the scene. Becoming a florist is not easy and she is nearly thwarted by teenage pressures.
Angelique thrives at college, studying floristry until boyfriend Micky intervenes with the influence of gang member friends. Leaving Angelique with a decision to make and the audience is left wondering whether or not she will make the right one.
The solo performance is fluid and portrays the story throughout, making it manageable to digest the performance. Some scenes contain hard hitting moments, but each is captured with the essence of emotion. Angelique takes the audience on a journey through her character’s life, which has many highs and lows.
As an audience member, I Instantly felt connected to the story. When approaching my seat, I could see the actor was already on the stage, which grabbed my attention by seeing an intimate engagement, I already felt part of the story.
Actor Sarel Madziya’s portrayal of a 17-year old girl was fantastic. She painted a vivid image of the other characters involved in the story by referring to their distinct accents and stereotypical characteristics, which displayed great talent.
The performance showed resilience and contained high energy levels throughout. Sarel gave a rendition of realism during her performance by speaking to the audience with a conversational tone.
The innocence of young love and youth is explored during the performance, which is a very important moment for Angelique’s character development.
Echoing how vulnerability can be used in the wrong ways and exploit a person – I found the overall message of this empowering, as I believe it’s important to showcase the reality of love and that it’s not always like the movies.
The play contains themes of sexual abuse and abandonment. It is bursting with the intense power of one woman’s story, and the overwhelming challenges she has to face.
But with the idea of becoming a florist and a new beginning comes the symbolisation of fresh flowers, and the story takes us on the road of self-discovery and hope of a better life for Angelique.
There are plenty of young women like Angelique across the country who feel silenced by the adversities they have faced, but by talking about issues young women are facing it’s creating a degree of confidence to carry on telling these stories.
And in turn will hopefully create the support and guidance young women need to progress to a brighter future.
I highly commend the message of this play and I believe it’s important for more women’s voices to be heard and amplified and Funeral flowers is a wonderful play doing just that.
Main image credit: Liverpool Everyman Theatre