Am I Dead Yet?
Reviewed – 9th November 2017
“combines storytelling, comedy, and songs in an informal environment”
How are you going to die? None of us really know how or when we are going to kick the bucket and the shock of a death feels like falling over in the dark. Perhaps that’s why we don’t like to talk about death and dying in our everyday lives. If you are not a fan of the subject or think it is morbid to talk about dying, this is not the show for you.
Brought to the Soho Theatre by Unlimited Theatre and developed in collaboration with Dr Andy Lockey, Am I Dead Yet? combines storytelling, comedy, and songs in an informal environment to talk about what it means to be dead. Lots is packed into this tight 55-minute show including some shocking percentages as well as a quick lesson on CPR. At times the show feels like a cross between a play and a TED Talk.
The staging is uncomplicated with only a few stools, piano, guitar and a couple of mics echoing the laid-back cabaret-style nature of the show. Effective lighting (Katherine Williams) and subtle sound (Pete Malkin) transform the space just enough to complement the story without being distracting.
Jon Spooner and Chris Thorpe have a great chemistry on stage, changing the pace and atmosphere of the show seamlessly as they bounce off each other. The rate of suicide gets a noteworthy and necessary mention between the two men (and stats show us this is a conversation that needs to be had). The storytelling is compelling and while the songs feel a little out of place, the final number is heartfelt and comical despite the subject matter.
The show transgresses into the philosophical as we think about the future. Will we ever reach a point where death doesn’t faze us? Will we simply get upgraded like a phone, switching failing organs for a new model?
However we end up going, – whether in a tragic accident; happy in bed; or choking on a Freddo – perhaps it’s time we talked about death more. Am I Dead Yet? is a great catalyst for those conversations.
Reviewed by Sarah Fox
Photography by Richard Davenport
AM I DEAD YET?
is at the Soho Theatre until 18th November