VIDEO: Comedy provides lots of laughs at Old Courts

Death and funerals may seem an unlikely subject for a night of laugh-out-loud comedy but that is exactly what the latest high-profile show to visit Wigan managed.


Victoria Melody took to the stage at The Old Courts with her dad, TV antiques dealer Mike Melody, for Ugly Chief.

From left, Victoria Melody and her dad Mike, stars of Ugly Chief, a production about life, death and other things, at The Old Courts, Wigan

From left, Victoria Melody and her dad Mike, stars of Ugly Chief, a production about life, death and other things, at The Old Courts, Wigan

The piece was inspired by Mike's diagnosis with motor neurone disease and Victoria's plans for his send-off, only for everything to be thrown into disarray by doctors realising they had made a mistake.

Undaunted, the pair decided to take to the stage and put on a 'living funeral' for Mike, along the way asking all sorts of questions about how we commemorate those who have died and if traditional funerals are really what people would want if they were asked.

Indeed, given a choice, Mike stages a riotous departure involving a bourbon barrel, a barbecue pit, mourners wearing the tangerine colour of his beloved Blackpool FC and a New Orleans marching jazz band.

The show also movingly dissects Victoria and Mike's sometimes-tricky relationship.

The unusual piece was first supported by Battersea Arts Centre in London and was put on the Wigan Arts Festival bill through the venue's Collaborative Touring Network.