Four Funerals in One Day

Four Funerals in One Day is a short play about the importance and value of stories in palliative care. By Alan Hopgood In collaboration with Molly Carlile. Touring metropolitan, rural and regional Victoria in 2009. Book early to avoid disappointment!

Actors: Margot Knight, Alan Hopgood, Babs McMillan, Michelle Hall
Proudly sponsored by Palliative Care Victoria, North and West Metropolitan Region Palliative Care Consortium and Southern Metropolitan Palliative Care Consortium.

This play is based on true stories and it is the positive attitudes of the story tellers that allows this play to be both informative and an entertaining comedy.

Karen is a community nurse caring for her first dying patient. Clarrie has had enough of being a burden on his family and wants to die now. Vi is tired and bad tempered and wondering why she stays working in palliative care, particularly as she has her own problems at home and Sue is walking the fine line of acting as a mentor for junior staff and supporting a colleague who isn’t coping. Four Funerals in One Day is a performance piece that explores the human reality for patients and professional carers living and dying in palliative care.

Four Funerals in One Day had its world premiere at the 9th Australian Palliative Care Conference at the Melbourne Convention Centre on August 29th 2007. The impact of the play was tangible as the audience laughed loudly when they recognised elements of themselves and their colleagues in the characters. Many admitted later that they cried at times as well! The professional actors played their roles with empathy and humour and managed to hold the audience captive until the final curtain fell. Loud applause and long discussions followed.

Some of the responses from the 600 strong audience included:
• 98% thought the play was a good medium for delivering information
• 97% found the play entertaining
• 96% identified with issues in the play
• 83% agreed that the play raises issues that a general audience would understand
• 82% agreed that the play would raise awareness to assist palliative care workers

How can your organisation use “Four Funerals in One Day” to raise awareness of palliative care in your community?

With little infrastructure required, “Four Funerals in One Day” can be performed in local theatres, school or community halls, clubrooms or any venue that has a raised platform and access to basic lighting and sound systems. There are few props required and the actors provide their own costumes.

The basic cost for one performance of the play is $3500 (plus GST), plus transport and accommodation, if relevant.

For your investment you have access to a cast of highly reputable, professional actors who you will recognise from stage and screen. On completion of the performance Molly Carlile will Chair a community discussion of issues raised in the play which enables the hosting region to provide information about their local palliative care services to their local community.

The play runs for approximately 40 minutes, however with the following Community Forum, the performance can be tailored to suit the needs of the organiser to offer an extended programme. You might like to have a wine and cheese tasting or supper to accompany the Forum. The opportunities are only limited by your imagination!

It is suggested that organisations approach local businesses and service clubs to support the promotion of the play, provide a venue or donate goods. You could also charge an admission fee or ask for donations on entry. How you approach this is up to you.

“Four Funerals in One Day” will help your organisation to embrace Health Promoting Palliative Care in an innovative and creative way that both educates and entertains the audience.

How to bring Four Funerals in One Day to your town

Expressions of interest are now being accepted for the 2008 tour. Enquires can directed to Palliative Care Victoria or Bay Street productions by completing the following form and either faxing or emailing to:

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