Whilst I’ve seen some unpalatable plots in my time, the story of Mumburger takes things to the next level.

MumburgerAfter a fatal car accident, a father and daughter are left reeling and in despair. Whilst Hugh becomes a morose and introverted figure, his daughter Tiffany becomes a whirlwind of energy, plans and spreadsheets.

The dearly departed mother and wife however is not content with a normal funeral. She arranges for her dead body to be sent to them as juicy burgers, which she wants them eat as a “digestive memorial”.

Whilst the premise would be ripe material for a ten minute sketch, it is way too thin to be dragged out for over an hour, meaning it ends with a whimper rather than a bang.

A longer production only lays bare the plot’s deficiencies; mainly why would someone want to put their family through such an ordeal? It is undoubtedly a play laden with symbolism but it is never satisfactorily explained why such a seemingly generous woman would make such an unreasonable demand.

MumburgerSarah Kosar’s script features some touching poetry and prose, along with sharp reflections on the nature of modern grieving. However, the surrealness of the core plot means that it is very hard for these moments to hit the mark, as any sense of relatability and empathy goes out of the window.

This disconnect is intensified by the fairly dislikable Tiffany, who spends most of the play haranguing her shell-shocked father. This central relationship evokes little warmth, despite spirited performances from Rosie Wyatt and Andrew Frame.

Whilst the idea of Mumburger is certainly rare, it is certainly not well done.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Mumburger
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Will Sheehan
Will is a great lover of things theatrical and has spent his entire adulthood living, working and consuming the performing arts. He started as an administrator in opera, then briefly indulged in the film and TV world - then came screaming back to the real world of live theatre. He has been the general manager of a professional theatre company dedicated to new writing, ran a management consultancy for the small to medium theatre sector in Sydney before founding Cre8ion and producing events of scale, and theatre works, that toured Australia and the world. Currently, he is a freelance producer and the associate producer of the Helpmann Awards, Australia's live performance industry national awards ceremony. He lives and works mostly in Sydney, Australia, but frequently visits his other home - the West End.