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Am I Dead Yet? at Birmingham Rep

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by dpm (subscribe)
dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
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Performers ask us to ponder death and dying
Writers and performers Jon Spooner and Chris Thorpe come together to create a one hour dialogue and musing on the subject of death.

In doing so they relate stories, break out in song, pose questions and even have a doctor on hand to give a quick demonstration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. They tackle the thorny subject of medical intervention in keeping someone alive when they would otherwise have died and conclude that eventually we will reach a point where nobody dies from medical causes.

am i dead yet, death, dying cpr, birmingham rep, unlimited theatre, jon spooner, chris thorne
Tackling the thorny subject of death and dying

If this all sounds a bit deep in some ways it is – and in some ways it isn't. As the two discuss the story of Amy, a child who was almost miraculously saved from death, and as they ponder the effects of clearing up after a body on a railway line incident there are a good many profound questions asked. But the interaction between the two and not least the addition of a few zany songs then veers the show onto less serious ground.

In an hour long show, there's a little too much time spent on the three stories. Their lengthy and sometimes repetitive narration risks losing the attention of the audience – and both Spooner and Thorpe show they have much more to offer than simply being story-tellers.

The show ends with an inspired piece of audience participation. Before entering the theatre space everyone is asked to respond to the first half of the sentence 'I think I might die…' Spooner and Thorpe then whizz through the responses, turning them into a song and asking the audience to join in the chorus 'I think I might die, I know I'll die.' It's the quirkiness and the charm of the different responses which brings this alive.

Am I Dead Yet?
Am I Dead Yet?

Produced by Unlimited Theatre and directed by Amy Hodge, Am I Dead Yet? breaks through the nervousness of facing discussions about death head-on. Performed at The Door in Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Am I Dead Yet? certainly couldn't be more timely as it is staged during Dying Matters Week, a national campaign aiming to encourage people to talk openly and honestly about death and dying. Birmingham has a host of events taking place during Dying Matters Week (May 6-14), see here for details.
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Why? Theatre tackling the thorny subject of death and dying.
When: until May 13
Phone: 0121 236 4455
Where: Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Cost: From £10
Your Comment
Sounds interesting. Would like to see this.
by Former Writer (score: 2|308) 1599 days ago
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