THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF GRACE BUCHANAN is a darkly comic and ultimately heartbreaking story of a young woman who struggles with her mortality and saying goodbye. Grace has terminal breast cancer and little time to live so she sets about creating a will. But when everything’s been taken away from you, what is left? Who is left? And why did it happen? When you’re twenty four you might feel like you’ve got nothing to give and no one to give it to, so why not throw yourself the funeral of a lifetime and take the opportunity to settle old scores instead? A tornado of contradictions, Grace in her brash and unfiltered manner, plans out her dream, extraordinarily complex and often absurd, funeral service. She carves out outrageous roles for her loved ones, and amidst readings of Shelley and Dickinson attendees will be required to smoke weed and participate in binaural wavelength balancing, (whatever that is.) But despite her best efforts at trying to keep reality away, Grace experiences moments of sincerity, anger, and guilt amongst the practicalities, accidentally unveiling her true feelings and exposing her fears and vulnerability in surprising ways.
In the Book of Job God enters into a deal with Satan to test his most loyal follower; what kind of person will Job be when everything is taken from him? Secure in the knowledge that he’s a righteous man, Job doesn’t allow his friends’ chastisements and judgements to undermine his self assurance. He protests in extraordinary length, listening to almost six thousand words of his friends’ speeches and speaking almost double the amount himself. He will not be silenced and despite his railings, he never sins or turns against God. He questions his circumstances, but ultimately proves his moral fortitude. Grace is likewise placed in a situation where she is losing everything. Cancer is taking her life, and quickly. She too speaks at length, reflecting on her life and how she wants to be remembered whilst struggling with bitterness and looking for anyone or anything to blame. But in our story we have no God or narrator to tell us whether Grace is good or righteous. Our audience, like Job’s friends, will make those judgements themselves and be forced to examine their own preconceptions and biases as they witness Grace’s final act.