Melbourne Fringe Review: Funerals with Phoebe proved the perfect ending to an incredible festival

Delightful, different and refreshing, real life funeral singer Phoebe Deklerk‘s show Funerals with Phoebe proved to be the perfect ending to my amazing month of Melbourne Fringe Festival shows. Have you ever wondered what songs you’d like to have at your funeral? Or noticed just how similar wedding and funeral songs can actually be? Would you consider heading to a movie called The Funeral Singer?

Delving into an array of brightly coloured and often complex songs, Deklerk‘s show was characterised by her strong, classically trained voice which attacked each and every tune, and left many of the Sunday night audience with their jaws on the floor. Impeccable and effortless, it was clear that Deklerk is well versed in her profession.

Funerals With Phoebe, unsurprisingly, explores Deklerk’s job as a funeral singer, and the different ways in which a funeral can be felt and experienced, rather than just through grief. Contrasting the glamour of being a wedding singer to her own occupation, Deklerk aims to correct the imbalances, whilst highlighting the importance of music and its flexibility to both events.

It was an interesting and compelling performance, and the crowd, whilst small was attentive and enthusiastic, especially towards the superb ending of every song. The show’s simplistic set design and costumes were masterfully utilised also. Whilst some of the songs, namely the more well known modern songs, were executed averagely, Deklerk always made up for them with her incredible Opera renditions.

Overall, Funerals With Phoebe was a well put together and engaging show, which showcased a phenomenal soprano that will no doubt be on stages worldwide in no time. There were moment after moments of trilling vibrato that left myself and the audience shivering, and that final note in the great “Time to Say Goodbye” was show stopping. Funerals With Phoebe will take you on a thought provoking journey and we cannot wait to see where Phoebe Deklerk goes from here.


This reviewer attended the show at The Butterfly Club on September 30th. Header Image from Funerals with Phoebe’s Facebook event page.