My Best Dead Friend

Theatre (comedy)

Add to favourites
  • Summerhall - Old Lab
  • 17:15
  • Aug 25
  • 1 hour
  • Suitability: 14+ (Guideline)
  • Country: New Zealand
  • Group: Anya Tate-Manning and Isobel MacKinnon with Zanetti Productions
  • Warnings and additional info: None
  • Accessibility: May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


This is a story about my friends. Ok, fine, it's mostly a story about me. December, 1998. Dunedin. The bottom of New Zealand, the bottom of the world. High summer in a town where there isn't a lot to do. This is a comedy about death, revolution, unfulfilled love, and a possum. A true story about heartbreaking grief and enduring friendship, featuring The Verlaines to the Backstreet Boys, and the words of poets Tuwhare, Baxter and Maniapoto. 'Extraordinary joys and sorrows, extraordinary rebellions and submissions' (Sydney Morning Herald). 'Funny, beautiful and devastating' (

Please note that while all media gallery content is provided by verified members of the event, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society does not review or approve this content before it is posted. Reports of inappropriate content or copyright infringement can be directed to [email protected].

General venue access

  • Accessible entry: Once in the courtyard, go through the double doors at ground level next to the shop shed, past the Anatomy Lecture Theatre and through the double doors, take a right; down to the end of the corridor.
  • Wheelchair access type: Level Access

  • Stairs: Information not supplied

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Lesley Warner 85 days ago

This is a touching story about growing up in Dunedin, in New Zealand's South Island, a place where nothing ever happens. With her enthusiastic story-telling and really amazing use of chalk drawings, Anya depicts her 17 year old self, her friends, and where they live, taking us right into her world. It's a fast-paced show (sometimes she speaks too fast to follow everything) with some gentle audience participation.

David Murphy 102 days ago

I really enjoyed this unique one woman show. In theory, an autobiographical story based on memories of teenage frustrations and optimisim, coupled with the story of grief and tragic death of a friend shouldnt fit with irreverent humour about the Backstreet Boys, outdoor toilets and a possum. But there was something magical about Anya's authenticity and infectious humour that allowed the audience to experience grief and joy simultaneously with no absolutely contradiction and feel good about having done so. I'd highly recommend seeing this show.

Stella J 103 days ago

Saw this show yesterday in the previews and it was brilliant! Unique, funny, and really cool use of space and chalk! Poignant and hilarious at once. Great cultural references for Kiwis as well :)

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

The Scotsman (3/5 stars) 82 days ago

Dunedin is a city that exercises a fascination from afar for Scots. ...

Read the full review

ThreeWeeks (3/5 stars) 90 days ago

In New Zealand’s Dunedin, there isn’t a lot to do. This was doubly true in the 1990s, so when Anya Tate-Manning and her friends were growing up, they had to make their own fun, which they did quite successfully until their close-knit group was riven by tragedy. On a giant,...

Read the full review

Broadway Baby (4/5 stars) 94 days ago

The black box space in Summerhall is perfectly suited to Zanetti Productions’ new one-woman show My Best Dead Friend, at once intimate and epic in its proportions. Created by Anya Tate-Manning and Isobel MacKinnon, this gentle show about grief and coming of age is a wonderful, moving hour, and Tate-Manning...

Read the full review

The Stage [paywall] (3/5 stars) 95 days ago

Anya Tate-Manning’s charming and gentle storytelling show is about the loss of a friend, but also more generally about the bonds that form between friends over time. Tate-Manning describes growing up in Dunedin, a small town in New Zealand, with its long-drop toilets and noisy possums, its suffocating conservatism. She...

Read the full review

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

Please login to add a review

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.