This exploratory methodology uses participatory performance to explore the complexities and consequences arising from our struggles to talk openly about issues such as dying, and highlighting the importance of such exchanges.
Project lead: Michael Tan (Lab4Living) & Ashley Barnes (SHU Acting and Performance)
When is a right time for us to think about our preferences for end of life care and talk about our wishes? How important is it for us to relay this information to others, especially those who are closest to us? And vice versa, how much do we know about their preferences and wishes?
Talking about and planning for death may feel daunting and uncomfortable but what happens when this information is not made known to others particularly at moments when they need to act on your behalf?
Dying Matters is a participatory performance that explores the complexities and consequences arising from some of our struggles to talk openly about death. It engages the audiences to consider the importance of such exchanges. Through a series of monologues by individuals who have experienced loss, and reflective prompts, the participatory performance provides audience moments to reflect and leave traces of words, message and feeling for those who matter.
An online version of the performance has been developed and presented at the Dying Dialogue Symposium 2023, Toronto, Canada.
The performance is a collaboration with between Michael Tan (Lab4Living), Ashley Barnes (SHU Theatre), and SHU Theatre students: Chris Ellis, Rachel Leung, Georgia Maddock, Ben Unsworth, SJ Harris, Connie Fiddament, and Holly Dixon.
“A moving, engaging and thought-provoking hour”
“How important it is to share these sorts of experiences, to talk about dying death and bereavement, and that this talk can be done in a variety of ways”
Related news >> Death is part of life, let’s talk about it
Outputs and News
- 2022 Lab4Living, White Building, Sheffield UK (29 Nov 2022)
- 2023 Dying Dialogue Symposium 2023, Toronto, Canada (27 Jan 2023)
- 2 May 2023 Dying Matters Awareness week 2023 Compassionate Sheffield activities
- Shefnews 12 May 2023: Impactful interactive performances focusing on death offers a reflective experience to audience
- Shefnews 4 May 2023: Why we should talk about dying