Aunt Martha’s Funeral


“Aunt Martha’s Funeral” is a hilarious interactive play – an afternoon or evening of entertainment for everyone involved.

The mourners (audience) attend the ‘Funeral’ of our beloved Aunt Martha, a passionate, larger-than-life, rock-climbing, hang-gliding, motorcycle-riding and adventure-loving character!

The FVGSS cast portrays a colourful array of Aunt Martha’s close family, friends and associates, performing a tongue-in-cheek (yet respectful) service, with humour at every quirky turn of events.

Following the ‘Funeral’ is a reception, where the actors bring everything to a hilarious conclusion. With this interesting mix of people, anything can happen, and does, with comical results.

What should the audience expect?
Mourners are encouraged to dress for a “formal funeral”; i.e. black clothing, veil, hanky, etc. Alternatively, some more adventuresome mourners may wish to be creative in their dress as it lends to the story (eg. a ladies’ hockey team, Harley Davidson gang, rock climbing friends, etc).

Mourners may also wish to bring a favourite gift from Aunt Martha, or a single rose for the memorial table.

Audience participation is both welcome and encouraged. Many mourners enjoy the opportunity to stand and speak about their memories of Aunt Martha, enhancing their ‘Funeral’ experience and adding to the fun.

Please note: Due to the nature of the performance and some mourners’ comments, this play may not be suitable for young children or the recently bereaved.

How is the host group involved?
The host group supplies a place for the ‘Funeral’, and a separate area on the same site for the reception. The reception area must accommodate seating and tables for all the mourners, with enough room for the actors to move among them. It is recommended that no more than 200 people are present, to allow the cast and crew to interact with everyone.

Light refreshments are usually available, and are the responsibility of the hosting group. Tea servers are supplied by FVGSS.

How does the host group benefit?
Aunt Martha’s Funeral serves as a fundraiser for The Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society and the organization hosting the play. The hosting group and the FVGSS share the profit with a 50/50 split of the gross ticket sales.

Tickets are generally sold at $20 each, but the hosting organization can charge more if desired.

The profit varies with the number of tickets sold and expenses incurred by the hosting organization (ie. refreshments, pianist), however most groups have earned over $1,000 for each ‘Funeral’.

The host organization supplies:

  • A space for the ‘Funeral’ and a different space for the ‘reception’
  • Tables and chairs for the ‘reception’ arranged in small groupings with room for the actors to move among them
  • Light refreshments (optional)
  • A table to display Aunt Martha’s memorial items
  • A piano and a pianist if possible
  • Tickets to sell
  • At least one person who is familiar with the kitchen, to help tea servers prepare

FVGSS supplies:

  • All the actors
  • Posters and handbills
  • Order of Service leaflets
  • Items for Aunt Martha’s memorial table
  • Funeral flowers
  • People to act as tea servers

For information and bookings, contact the Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s Fundraising Coordinator, Lyn Verra-Lay at 778-879-4097, or