End Of Life Celebrated in Poignant Production at The Playhouse

Taboos around the end of life are explored in a witty, poignant and bittersweet production coming to Norwich Playhouse.

Dead Good tells the story of Bob and Bernard who have two things in common – they are both dying and they are not going down without a fight.

Armed with a bottle of Bollinger and with the keys to Bernard’s Bentley in their hands, they hit the road to embark on one final adventure.

As their time begins to run out, will the pair accept the inevitable? Can their growing friendship make a difference, and with the end of life looming, can they discover the joy of living?

The production on April 1 comes from Vamos Theatre, the UK’s leading full-mask theatre company, and features no speech.

Dead Good does, however, boast an original music score, film projection, a multifaceted set design and some stunning masks brimming with character.

The cast includes Canada’s internationally renowned clown performer Aron De Casmaker. Based in the UK, he is best known for being one of the leading performers in the hugely popular Slava’s Snow Show which has enjoyed sold-out performances at Norwich Theatre Royal, and Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria. Others in the production include experienced mask actor James Greaves, and Angela Laverick and Joshua Patel who have both worked with Vamos Theatre before.

The production is part of the Creative Matters season, which runs across Norwich Playhouse, Norwich Theatre Royal and Stage Two throughout April exploring issues around loss and bereavement.

Vamos Theatre has a strong reputation for producing groundbreaking and thought-provoking work, with Dead Good aiming to be both an exploration of death and a celebration of life.

Rachael Savage, artistic director of Vamos Theatre, met palliative care patients and health professionals while researching and writing it. She said: “The phrase “Nothing about us without us” has become part of our core beliefs. I could not have written this show without the input of so many generous and wise people, and in particular, the support of two brilliant men, Dave and Nick, both terminally ill, who have shared their most intimate and precious feelings and experiences.

I am stunned every time I talk, text or email them about their zest for life and love, their appreciation for the minutiae and their shocking sense of humour. Writing Dead Good has deepened my value of life, made me think about planning for a good death, and I’ve laughed ten times more than cried.”

Dead Good is at the Norwich Playhouse on Wednesday April 1 at 7.30pm.

Tickets: £12 / Over-60s and Under-18s £10 / Students £8.50 / Under-25 £5. To book, log onto norwichtheatre.org or call the box office on 01603 630000.