This intimately told story of grief and love will resonate with anyone struggling with grief and finding the strength to move forward with life.
How do you move forward with life when your grieving the loss of someone you loved? This is the question right at the centre of this moving and intimate story of two friends going through the different stages of grief, after the tragic loss of Liv.
Written with a bittersweet feel to it, Lorien Haynes really sensitively deals with all the emotions that come with grief – not just the pain but the guilt, regret and the love as see through the eyes of two friends. On the one side, there is Adam deeply mourning the love of his life and the other there is Cat struggling to deal with the loss of her friend. Together, they embark on an emotional journey through shared experiences and memories.
While Haynes has created a relatable and heartfelt story, it also wonderfully uses tinges of humour that also convey the sadness felt by both characters but also to give it a reassuring boost that not all stages of grief is sad. The chemistry between Cat and Adam is wonderfully grounded and natural – thanks to the strong and charismatic performances from Sian Clifford and Nikesh Patel.
Between them, Patel and Clifford really highlight the complexities of the emotions of grief that eventually threaten to break them apart when their reliance on each other becomes too much for them individually. It is the little moments such as when Adam offers Cat Liv’s coat to wear to warm up – the silence and awkwardness is so tangible we really feel it and captures the delicate nature of grief, while the references to Liv are referred to in a way that constantly make her feel as though she is there. The way in which they both switch mood and tone really keeps the audience on their toes and invested in what is happening – captured perfectly during the aftermath of when they have an argument about having slept together.
Good Grief is expertly directed by Natalie Abrahami, who captures the intimacy of the story with great precision and focus that the audience is completely swept into the changing relationship of the characters. Even though we are watching through a screen, it feels as though we are experiencing their grief with them.
This is a piece of drama that many people can relate to in some form and it is all so delicately brought to life. Good Grief is a really vivid piece of theatre that beautifully apprehends the complexity of emotions that surround grief.
By Emma Clarendon