Fringe preview: Am I Dead Yet?
Unlimited Theatre get to grips with the grave in their latest production
This article is from 2015.
Over the course of nearly 20 years of collaborative practice, Unlimited Theatre have built a reputation on exciting science-based work. Their thoughtful approach has brought them great success: previous efforts Static and Neutrino each picked up a Fringe First award, while Zero Degrees & Drifting garnered a Best Fringe Production nod at the MEN Theatre Awards. This August, Jon Spooner and Chris Thorpe are returning to the Fringe to traverse the undiscovered country in their latest show, Am I Dead Yet?.
A show about death seems a natural step for the company. 'All our shows are about profound things – simple things that affect all of us,' says co-writer Spooner. 'Death is definitely that.' But despite the subject’s universal relevance, Am I Dead Yet? presents death as a concept in flux. 'Advancements in resuscitation science are quite literally changing the definition and our understanding of death,' he says. The show sees Spooner and Thorpe use their patented combination of theatre and science to trouble existing notions of death, in co-operation with emergency care doctor Dr Andy Lockey, whose role as secretary of the Resuscitation Council UK places him at the vanguard of these medical innovations.
Through this cutting-edge scientific perspective, the company are setting out to change death's macabre image. 'Rather than thinking of it as grim or gruesome,' Spooner says, 'we've approached it as something inevitable, that will happen to us all, that is part of life. And maybe if we can be better at talking about death and dying, we might live better.' With a cheerful combination of stories, songs and CPR, Am I Dead Yet? promises to shine some much-needed light on a very dark subject.
Am I Dead Yet?, Traverse, 228 1404, 19-30 Aug (not 24), times vary, £18 (£13). Preview 18 Aug, £12.