Two weeks ago Life Rites had the great pleasure of being involved with an wonderful day and evening of events as part of the Brighton Fringe. This all came about as part of Death Awareness week in conjunction with Dying Matters. and the event was co ordinated by Brighton Death Forum who are a community group offering information, resources and eclectic events in order to promote dialogue about our evolving relationship with death and dying. The venue was the amazing Bosco tent, which is an early twentieth century boxing ring now converted to showcase cabaret, performance, spoken word and much more. This tent is part of the world famous Spiegeltent which is situated on the Old Steine in Brighton for the duration of May.

Bosco theatre and crowds

Bosco Theatre

This was a collaboration between Brighton Death Forum, the immensely talented Gimcrack Productions and a plethora of local talent and educators… so you may have guessed the subject, we which we all have in common….the inevitability of death and how we process this in western society. The intention of this day was to both entertain and educate.

Local artist Clare Grotefeld and her silver skeleton

Local artist Clare Grotefeld and her silver skeleton

We had  various events through it the afternoon from 2pm including specially created performance from Ulysses Black,  art installation from smoke+mirrors collective, a dead petting zoo from Rachael Fountain, willow coffin weaving with Jake Whitcroft, Companion Voices  interfaith end of life choir, Dignity in Dying – Brighton and Lewes, a workshop with LifeRites and so, so much more . 

Ulysses Black during part of his performance

Ulysses Black during part of his performance

Jake Whitcroft and his willow coffin making

Jake Whitcroft and his willow coffin making

Rachael Fountain creating an onsite art piece

Rachael Fountain creating an on site art piece

Lyn Baylis conducted a very powerful and  moving workshop on how to lay out a body, she created a simple  sacred ritual showing how to anoint and bath the body after death and the interfaith choir accompanied her by singing gently. The whole work shop was spiritual and enlightening.

s[piegeltent gardens with tables and coffin

Spiegeltent Gardens

The event culminated in a performance of Moribund which is a contemporary performance addressing our relationship with death,  in both light-hearted and poignant ways .  The show was written, devised and performed by Rosie Kohl and George Collie. Gimcrack Productions is  an emerging performance company
founded in 2014, they use a variety of elements of narrative theatre, cabaret, physical theatre and vaudeville. Moribund delighted  in taking us through the nine stages of death with innovative songs and well-crafted movement pieces. The show as a great success and received well deserved rave review.

performers on stage in Bosco tent

Rosie and George in Moribund

After the performance a question and answer session took place, this included local funeral arrangers, palliative carers, the theatre company and Lyn. There were some very pertinent questions asked and very considered and informative answers given in response.

question and answer participants on the stage

The Q & A

The whole day was a great success and we were really proud to have taken part . It is so important that we encourage an open and ongoing dialogue abut death and dying and Life Rites hope to be involved with many more such events.