REVIEW: OVER MY DAD’S BODY (Vaults Festival) ★★

Simon David comes to the Vaults Festival following the success of his 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival Show ‘Virgin’. His new show ‘Over My Dad’s Body‘ is a mixture of camp musical comedy and a more serious story about his father’s death.

The show begins as a summary of Simon’s life so far. He is a Musical Director for London’s gay theatre ‘Above The Stag’, as well as playing show tunes on the piano at London’s stagey musical theatre bar ‘Overtures’. He sings camp fun songs in a variety of sparkly, revealing outfits and really gets the crowd going. Simon talks about his ideas for his next show ‘Date Night’ where he brings a member of the audience up on stage and asks them questions.

But then things take a dark turn when Simon talks about finding out his dad had terminal cancer and was given two years to live. Simon talks about the struggle of losing a parent and evaluating life because of it.

During the cancer process, Simon’s dad put on his own one-man-show, talking about the struggles of dealing with a life threatening illness and we see several excerpts from this show that was recorded on video.

Over My Dad’s Body is clearly an important part of Simon overcoming the death of his father, in the best way he knows how to do – through comedy. Whilst there is clearly a story wanting to be told, it lacks structure and feels more like a summary of Simon’s life over the past two years without really creating a story that is exciting to watch. Perhaps increasing the pace of the show and adding in a few more musical song and dance numbers (which is where Simon really shines)  would help keep things exciting and help create a consistent performance.

Reviewed by West End Wilma