Pearly Gates: A Kafkaesque Romcom in Heaven@Fringe

by Pearly Mates Theatre Company in Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

Pearly Gates: A Kafkaesque Romcom in Heaven@Fringe


raised of £1,400 target
50% 22 days left
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by 30th April 2020 at 12:02pm

Pearly Mates Theatre Company is looking for backers to share in the glory (and the profits) of taking our bold little show to Fringe!

by Pearly Mates Theatre Company in Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

Pearly Mates Theatre Company is looking for backers to share in the glory (and the profits) of taking our bold little show to Fringe!

Praise for the writers:

"Macleod and Williams’ punchy script and clever satire created a lively and unpredictable world" - Varsity

"Brilliantly terse one-liners" - The Cambridge Student

"A title that sums up both the genre and idea of the play far more succinctly than I could." - Alex Horne

Pearly Gates is a quasi-uplifting comedy about interdimensional lovers faced with mortality, bureaucracy and the crushing boredom of immortality. The writers, Calum Macleod and Archie Williams, met through the Cambridge University theatre and comedy scene and decided there's a lot of comic potential in our cultural obsession with living for eternity. When you get down to the practicalities of it all, bumping into every single person you thought you just might never have to see again might not be so utopian. There’s the personal development side as well - we all wish we had time to learn a language on the side, but what about every single language ever, with all the literature ever written in any of them? Nominated for the Footlights playwriting prize, our religious and political satire was described by Alex Horne (Taskmaster) as an "imaginative and funny piece of writing" which is "instantly engaging".

Directors Lara Cosmetatos and Izzy Smith have brought our bizarre world to life with the help of a brilliant student cast and we're hoping to take our show to the Fringe. After a profitable Cambridge run, we are delighted to have an offer for 25 performances at 2.50 pm at Sweet Grassmarket 1, a 90 seater space in the heart of Edinburgh.

BUT it is very expensive. In order to cover the flat venue fee and our publicity budget, we're looking to gain funding from a range of sources: cake sales, university, robbery, crowdfunding...all sorts. College funding bodies have offered to cover a percentage of the budget, we need the help of crowdfunding investors to take the offer Sweet have made us. To break even on the show’s budget, we’ll need to sell under a third of tickets - 26 per performance. Since the venue has no box-office share and we operate on an amateur basis, all revenues from ticket sales will go to our backers after the festival.


Will enters to learn he has been placed in a very unflattering karma percentile, and thus his only options are *eternal hell* or reincarnation as gonorrhoea, a dung beetle in the 14th century Sahara Desert, or a Nivea labrat. To make things even more disorientating, he can’t even remember anything from his life – he’s got post-mortal amnesia, the leaflets say. In a state of disbelief, he decides to initiate an appeal. He is given seven fleeting days to gather evidence for his defence in the eternal merry-go-round that is about 80% of all humans to ever have existed, from the Mongolian Horde to Bob Ross. He discovers that Christopher Hitchens is still in denial; Nick Clegg is on the run ever since students started arriving and realising their student debt carried over and ghosts are just very bored dead people who play practical jokes on the living. 

Just when he is feeling like his case is hopeless, he is contacted by an estranged lover from his past life, Sophie. Also on the same crappy karma tier as Will, she has decided to give him another chance and asks him to try living with her as a 14th century dung beetle in the Sahara Desert. Will runs over to Moira the Admin Angel, responsible for administering a good 63% of existence, and asks to be moved back into reincarnation - only to learn the dung beetle option has recently become fully subscribed.

Determined to become a beetle, Will petitions the most senior religious figure we were blasphemous enough to depict – Saint Peter. We learn Peter has been overcome by bureaucracy angst ever since Martin Luther massively complicated the administrative structure of heaven. He tries to get Will transferred over but it turns out there’s nothing he can do; there are just no available beetle bodies. Will trudges off and bumps two residents of heaven who are sick of eternity. One of them has read every book ever written; by this point he's ended up cycling through the entire human corpus 17 times. Will explains his predicament and starts yo-yoing with them (they’ve been doing it for thirty years now). As Will yos, he decides he'll do anything to be a Dung Beetle with Sophie - whether the Divine Institutions like it or not. In a montage, the three of them go down to Earth as ghosts and breed dung beetles in the 14th century Sahara desert. This provides Will a dung beetle body to return to Earth in, albeit at the cost of an ecological disaster due to exponential growth in Dung Beetle populations. Saint Peter is quite irate about the whole situation.

We think the show could draw a good crowd and do well financially - the show's brand is unique and eye-catching (read: extremely pink) and suits flier based publicity, which is rock-hard custom at the Fringe. 

Our flier design is here: ; we'll be looking to distribute as many of these as possible...iN cOStuMe. Grassmarket is especially busy just before our 2.50pm slot as it is one of the most popular places to have lunch during the festival, which gives us the perfect opportunity to slip fliers into menus, sandwiches and prosecco bottles, where they can lie in wait for innocent audience members and fill them with desire to come and see our show!!!

Our polished up script for the festival is available to read here:

Our run in Cambridge is available to view here:

We had a fantastic time in our first run and can't wait to take this show to the Fringe - and we hope that, having read this entire exposition, you will consider helping us to get this new and inventive writing to the festival!


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£20 or more

Share of Ticket Revenue

The box-office revenue from all 25 performances will be split between our backers at this level, proportional to their investment in the total budget.

£3 or more


everyone pledging £3 or more gets a Pearly Gates badge!!!

£150 or more

1 of 4 claimed


GENUINE CARDBOARD CLOUD used in the Fringe Production of 'Pearly Gates: A Kafkaesque Romcom in Heaven'

£1,000,000 or more

0 of 7 claimed


First 7 donors of £1,000,000 or more will receive a cast member of their choice

Let's make 'Pearly Gates: A Kafkaesque Romcom in Heaven@Fringe' happen

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