Be Prepared (4 stars)

A deeply moving and heartfelt one man show

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Be Prepared

credit: Richard Davenport

Tom's dad has recently died and, despite his insistence, he is not dealing with it particularly well. Whilst Tom tries to cope with his grief, a Mr Chambers keeps calling him, seeking a funeral director. Tom is not a funeral director, but the caller's life somehow affects him as he struggles to remember the details of his long-lost father.

Though perhaps a little overlong, it is difficult not to be moved by this wonderfully human story of grappling with grief and worrying about forgetting the details of a departed loved one. The gloriously funny moments serve to highlight the grief that drives the drama.

Ian Bonar, who both wrote and performed the piece, is an extraordinary talent and has created a piece of theatre that is powerful, engaging and truthful. Presenting Tom as he discovers an apparently lost connection to his father, Bonar is able to explore a rarely discussed anguish in an easy yet heartfelt manner. Taking on a serious subject with a lightness of touch, humour and intensity, he opens up the problems of hiding grief in a way that is accessible and compassionate.

Underbelly, until 28 Aug, 3.20pm, £10 (£9).

Be Prepared

  • 4 stars

The Corner Shop Events in association with Underbelly Untapped 'Imagine seeing all the stuff that you've done played out in your head in glorious technicolour… and then opening your mouth to speak and all that comes out is mixed-up nonsense and spit and dribble.' Tom's dad is dead. Mr Chambers needs a funeral director.

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