Who is John Smith anyway?

Due to the noisy vacuum cleaner of a church janitor, a persistently annoying actor who wants to book the same church for his one-man King Lear show and a flustered church administrator who simply wants to get away to a meeting of the League for the Eradication of the Arms Race (LEAR), there is a major mix up over funeral arrangements for two men of the same name — John Smith.

The intense rivalry between two undertakers — each responsible for the funeral of one of the John Smiths — escalates to sabotage, making one cortege late.

The resultant funeral is… interesting. Two sets of mourners turn up at the church at the same time.

Two highly contrasting eulogies lead the mourners to believe the recently deceased John Smith led the weirdest double life ever. Was he the under-investigation government minister, serial adulterer, whip-cracking Master of the Hunt? Or was he an animal loving, gay rights campaigning, cross-dressing chanteuse, HIV positive, transvestite burglar? Could he have been both?

This is the conundrum that starts off The Wrong Funeral.

After that it gets… well… complicated, with a bemused MI5 surveillance team investigating LEAR, King Lear, John Smith and the hapless Ginger; witnessing a demonstration at an arms fair involving Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, General Galtieri, General Pinochet and Ivan the Terrible — and forming part of the slowest car chase sequence in cinema history.

John Smith has a lot of questions to answer — that’s both of them! Not least of which is how they both ended up dead under very strange circumstances, which one is actually in the box and which one is late for his own funeral.

The Wrong Funeral — a new black comedy by Roger Harding.

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