THE DEATH SHOW

Written by Antonia Beck, Lucy Nicholls and Bernadette Russell
Performed by Antonia Beck and Lucy Nicholls
Directed by Bernadette Russell

“A top night’s entertainment.
Life affirming, brilliant.”

AUDIENCE MEMBER

Age Guidance 14+

please note the show does contain swearing

Running Time 73 mins

Approx.
straight through

Death. A bit grim, isn't it. Morbid, macabre and even unmentionable, but does it have to be that way?

Drawn together by a shared fear of death, Lucy Nicholls and Antonia Beck present The Death Show. A funny, surreal, reflective and unashamedly honest show about death.

Join them on a journey of discovery, courage and contemplation. Celebrate your own mortality, laugh, cry, stick two fingers up at the grim reaper and discover why talking about death is ultimately life affirming.

With a focus on death anxiety, The Death Show looks to better understand our often difficult relationships with death and dying and why we struggle to accept our own mortality.

Supported by the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Arena Theatre Wolverhampton. With additional support from BrumYODO, Shoot Festival Midlands Arts Centre and the Sir Barry Jackson Trust.

Winner of the Artist Development Prize - Shoot Festival, Coventry (2017)

SUPPORTED BY:

WITH ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FROM:

FUNDED BY:

Background to the show

Created in response to a provocative and unashamedly honest dialogue about death, ‘The Death Show’ looks to better understand society’s relationship with death and dying, and why we struggle to accept our own mortality. It is both a personal view of the subject matter, and an exploration of how we as a society can have better conversations about death and dying.

As part of the research and development for the show, the artists embarked on an in-depth research journey which included taking part in a celebrant training course, being artists in residence at an independent funeral directors, spending time with patients at a hospice and having numerous conversations with death and end of life care professionals as well as the general public about death and dying is their response to that journey, presented as a live, contemporary performance that is funny, surreal, reflective, honest (and references a good dose of pop culture). Despite their mutual ‘thanataphobia’, Lucy and Antonia don’t believe that death should be seen as morbid, macabre, weird, disturbing, melancholic or most importantly unmentionable.

“Through this project we realised how important and necessary it is for us as individuals and as a society to talk about death. It shouldn’t be a subject matter that is discussed in whispers; talking about death can be incredibly life affirming. With The Death Show, we hope that people will take up our invitation to come together to celebrate their own mortality, maybe laugh, maybe cry and ultimately bring death out of the shadows and into the light.”

About the Creative Team

Antonia Beck and Lucy Nicholls are independent theatre makers and creative producers with a playful, dynamic and cross-art form approach to making innovative, contemporary work.

Having collaborated together for the last 7 years, their shared portfolio includes performance-based commissions for the Birmingham Hippodrome, one-to-one performances in pop-up tents with mac Birmingham, and other interactive works and events in town squares, pubs and warehouses.

  • Written by Antonia Beck, Lucy Nicholls and Bernadette Russell
  • Performed by Antonia Beck and Lucy Nicholls
  • Directed by Bernadette Russell
  • Designed by Abigail King and Deborah Mingham (Entify)
  • Choreography by Amy Haigh
  • Lighting Design by Nigel Edwards
  • Technical Stage Manager – Jj Maggs
  • Photography by Graeme Braidwood
  • Producer – Charlotte Lund
  • Additional photography (production images) – Pamela Raith

With many thanks to:

A Natural Undertaking, Four Oaks Day Hospice, Emma Thompson, June and Fred Nicholls, Jacob Salder, Jack Trow, Charlotte Gregory, Liam d’Authreau,Ed Errington and everyone else who helped us in many different ways to make this show.