Dead and Gone to Granny's
Freddie, the younger brother of marketing executive Patrick, tries to build himself a career in television by hosting a macabre show called "Live Death", in which he aims to show the ways in which people die. At the moment, however, he can only tell stories about deaths while waiting for an actual video tape that he could air. Patrick, a talented would-be violinist, has previously enjoyed a fairly remarkable career in direct marketing, but has now suddenly lost everything that he once had, including his wife and children who have left him. Depressed, as so many times before, Patrick now sees as his last chance for survival a Russian distribution contract that he wishes to sell to his rival and idol in the business, Leo Berstein. Yet, it is a long shot that even Patrick himself doesn't really believe in. Consequently, he is planning to commit suicide with the idea of filming the act so that he can leave the tape for his brother to air on his TV show. Linda, Patrick’s mistress for thirteen years, has also deserted Patrick but ends up picking up Freddie at a beer joint. The two come to Patrick’s house as Freddie, who is unaware of both the reason for Patrick’s depression and the connection between Linda and his brother, wishes to cheer him up. While in the house, Freddie ends up answering a phone call from Leo Berstein, who asks Freddie to tell his brother that the deal with Patrick is on. While Freddie and Linda are making love, Patrick remains unaware of Berstein’s call and goes into the garage, where he proceeds to talk about his life for the camera while preparing a rope, mixing rat poison in his beer and trying to perform a Japanese harakiri. He is, however, interrupted in his act by Linda and Freddie, who walk into the garage. Slowly, it becomes clear to Freddie that his successful brother has lost everything. Just as he is about to tell Patrick the good news about Berstein’s call, Patrick reveals that he has had an affair with Linda for years. Hearing this, Freddie gets mad and withholds the vital information about the Russian deal. Meanwhile, Linda’s husband Carlo has come back home early from work and finds Linda missing. Knowing about Linda’s past relationship with Patrick, he arrives at Patrick’s house determined to get his wife back. Patrick sees this as an opportunity for an honourable death, and manages to get himself killed accordingly. After the event, Linda and Freddie begin to work together and end up marrying one another. They move into Patrick’s old house where they discuss their future, while Patrick in the form of an angel plays his violin in the garage, occasionally commenting on the couple’s conversations. Freddie never sees Patrick’s death video, as Patrick has erased it in anger. Patrick, as an angel, talks with Freddie about their father, who wanted to make Patrick a soldier, like the father himself had been. But Patrick had only wanted to play the violin. They talk about how the father tossed a coin to make a choice between the two sons, and how he ended up choosing the wrong one. In the end, Freddie starts to work with Leo Berstein and the Russian contract, which Patrick has left to Freddie in his will. (Tinfo/Sunklo)
Premiered at the Broken Heart Theatre Co, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland 1997. Performed also at TystArt, Hiram College, Cleveland, Ohio, USA 2005 and SoHo Repertory Theatre, New York, USA 1998.