Edinburgh Fringe Festival revives frozen dead guy

It is the true story of a man who preserved his grandfather's body in ice in a shed in Colorado.

Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.

One madcap comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe is based on the true story of a man who tried to preserve his dead grandfather by keeping him frozen in his shed.

In the real story, Trygve Bauge, a Norwegian citizen, stored his grandfather at a cryonics facility, hoping that one day he could be brought back to life.

However, Trygve then decided to use his crude knowledge of the subject to keep grandpa's body frozen with dry ice in a shack behind the house.

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We have changed the name and the situation but we hope in some way to have immortalised the man”

End Quote Jamie Harrison Director

He was deported following issues with his visa but his grandfather remained in the shed, where he has become something of a tourist attraction.

As well as inspiring two documentaries, there is even a festival inspired by Grandpa Fredo - Frozen Dead Guy Day - which takes place annually in Nederland, Colorado.

Bo Schaefer, known as The Iceman, is now responsible for ensuring grandpa remains frozen.

He told BBC Scotland: "I take care of a person, so to speak, whose family believes that if I mess up I will kill him.

"I will ruin his chances of living again."

He described Trygve as a "wacko, but he's the most sincere wacko you ever want to meet".

Mr Schaefer added that he was surprised it had taken so long for someone to make a play about the subject.

"The story is so interesting and unique I am surprised others have not picked it up," he said.

"This is the stuff that great plays are made of. Strange events with people and emotions and international flavour. It is a very interesting subject."

Experts say Grandpa Bredo is unlikely to be revived, even if the technology does become available.

He is packed in dry ice in a modest shed and has already defrosted on several occasions.

But the play, The Not So Fatal Death of Grandpa Fredo, has at least ensured his strange story lives on.

The play's director Jamie Harrison said: "We have changed the name and the situation but we hope in some way to have immortalised the man.

"The piece is inspired by that story but has moved away from the actual events that happened in Colorado.

"We have harnessed the essence of the story. We have quite a lot of empathy for the chap who did this."

He added: "I hope that people of Nederland would find it a loving homage to the story rather than it being too satirical."

Now the story is about to come full circle.

Glasgow-based company Vox Motus have been invited to perform their show at next year's Frozen Dead Guy Festival in Colorado.

More on This Story

Edinburgh Festivals 2011

BBC Edinburgh, Fife and East



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