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The Death Show

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by dpm (subscribe)
dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
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A darkly comic take on our fears of death
A new theatre production premiering in Birmingham takes a wry look at our fear of death and dying.

The Death Show, which plays Birmingham Rep on January 26-7 before touring the UK, has been created by two local theatre makers Lucy Nicholls and Antonia Beck.

The Death Show at Birmingham Rep
The Death Show at Birmingham Rep

The two women spent time shadowing undertakers and celebrants and interviewing hospice patients and health professionals to create the production. Covering a range of topics, The Death Show looks at funeral traditions, people's nervousness to discuss death and anxieties about how we will be remembered.

A darkly comic tale, The Death Show was inspired by the artists' own fear of death and the knowledge that society as a whole tends to shy away from discussion around the end of life.

Lucy and Antonia say: "Through the development of this show, we realised how important and necessary it is for us as a society to talk more about death. It shouldn't be a subject matter that is discussed in whispers or left until it becomes an inescapable conversation at the end of our lives. It is something that we should be discussing when we are healthy and able to make informed choices and decisions about our end of life plans."

The Death Show at Birmingham Rep
Lucy Nicholls and Antonia Beck in The Death Show. Photos: Graeme Braidwood

And they add: "Everyone is entitled to a 'good death' but we have come to realise that this can only happen when we discuss and start to understand what that means for each of us as individuals. Therefore conversations about death and dying are essential and in fact we have found that talking about death is really incredibly life-affirming. With The Death Show, we hope that people will join us in celebrating life and death, by bringing death out of the shadows and into the light."

The matinee performance on Saturday 27 January at Birmingham Rep will be followed by a question and answer session with the artists and with members of BrumYODO, a Birmingham-based community collective which organises events to encourage open and honest discussion about death and dying.

The full tour features Birmingham Repertory Theatre on January 26-27 Slung Low's HUB in Leeds on February 18 Toynbee Studios in London on February 21-22 and Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol on February 25

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Why? A darkly comic exploration of our fears of death and dying
When: January 26-27
Phone: 0121 236 4455
Where: Birmingham Rep
Cost: from 10
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