One of Time Out’s top ten to do this month, Good Grief is virtual theatre, starring Fleabag’s Sian Clifford and Nikesh Patel. A romantic comedy about grief – it traces two friends, navigating the five stages – full of mistakes.
Lorien Hayes tells us more ……..
What’s your film about?
It’s a comedy about death. Which is obviously primarily un-funny. But comedy was the only way I knew how to address it, to address loss. We are so fundamentally unprepared for it in our culture. In a secular society, we have no collective means to feel it. Look at the reality we are in right now with COVID and lockdown. So much loss, so much grief and so much loneliness. And like any difficult subject, humour is the only way in. Humour is the only reason to watch. So I wanted to write a romantic comedy – a love story – about grief. And you feel the play might be a romance between the two main characters, Cat and Adam. When it is really a romance between each character and the woman they have lost. It is she, they love.
What inspired you to write it?
Primarily the loss of a friend who was much loved by an enormous group of people. We were all young at the time and I just couldn’t understand where she had gone. It made no sense to me. This was years ago now and there have been subsequent losses of friends and family but I always come back to that same feeling – that we need support and guidance with it. You actually never recover from losing someone you love. You just learn to live with it. I’ve always felt that if you fully recovered, you’d forget them and what they taught you. I believe it’s about remembering them and honouring them, instead.
What’s your advice on navigating grief?
Giving yourself time. Asking for help and support. Allowing yourself to feel. I do think we go through the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. But never at the same time as the other people we share the grieving with. And there are always strange complications – a grief hierarchy of who feels entitled to feel more or the most. It brings out the best and the worst in everyone. And it can be an incredibly lonely place to be. I wanted this play to be a hand out into that loneliness. And if one person can take that hand and feel comforted by what they see, then I feel the play will have succeeded.
Good Grief runs Feb 15 – April 15.
20% of tickets sold will be donated to the NHS and Macmillan Cancer Care.
Produced by Platform Presents and Finite Films.