The Life of Death – Edinburgh Horror Festival Review

Performer, Writer and Director: Helene Kostadinova

Venue: Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh


In this debut solo show from Helene Kostadinova, Death truly becomes her.


This one-woman show features Death herself (Helene Kostadinova) and the many personalities that intrude on her work life. As an overworked employee of the Underworld, Death is in desperate need of a holiday and rushes to fill her quota. Along the way however, a few mishaps and untimely deaths seem certain to keep Death from getting her long deserved break.


The Life of Death is a fast-paced show and jam-packed full of Death’s personal anecdotes and multiple other scenarios. Unfortunately, this only made it hard to keep up with what is happening at times. Unclear transitions during such a quick show only added to the confusion. The madness surrounding the character is interesting but ultimately sacrifices structure for humour. Death’s portrayal as a manic-depressive is an intriguing concept to witness but the pacing of the show distracts from this.


It’s clear to see that the show is a work in progress. But, Kostadinova’s light-hearted and darkly humorous jive at the all mighty Grim Reaper has potential. Seeing Death interact with the audience was a nice touch but was more imposing rather than to elicit a response. It required a more genuine connection between audience and performer, especially for a solo piece. The character created seems to work very well for Kostadinova, but ultimately madness and clarity needs to be well balanced in order to give this show the justice it deserves.

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