Good Grief

GOOD GRIEF **** (streaming, online, from Feb 15)

Sian Clifford, Nikesh Patel


So here we go, a new world beckoning.
Nothing, it seems, can keep a good story down.

There have been so many striking new initiatives during this pandemic with `streaming’ the new byword in format and monologues the favoured form.

So it’s exciting to see Lorien Haynes’s Good Grief being given the chance to break out of  the monologue, talking head dominance into more theatrical based form combined with online `streaming’.

Sian Clifford (BAFTA award winner as the uptight sister in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag) who plays Cat in this `comic’, snazzy two-hander of grief and `letting go’ calls it a hybrid, `neither theatre nor film – a plilm!’.

And truly Natalie Abrahami’s production with cinematography by Emma Dalesman carries the feel of a `live’ theatre production, loaded with funny, quirky dialogue, intimate moments and being Abrahami, sensitively handled.

It still carries limitations under the present lockdown circumstances, being confined to a one-room setting. But within its 45 minutes, Haynes takes us through several time segments and quite an emotional roller-coaster as Nikesh Patel’s Adam tries to come to terms with the girl-friend he has just lost through cancer.

Nikesh Patel

A story for our time about bereavement, the hallmark of Good Grief is how Haynes cleverly shows responses to grief as being displaced as love from his loved onto the intimacy he has with her best friend.

Patel is excellent as the stricken Adam – uncertain, numbed, bewildered, desperately reaching out for the nearest vestige of comfort in the form of Clifford’s Cat, a woman as broken by the loss of her friend as she is confused by her emotional/sexual response to Adam.

Sian Clifford

Presented by Original Theatre Online, it’s also exhilarating to see the creative spirits behind this – Platform Presents and Finite Films happen to be in the hands of young women, – Gala Gordon and Isabella McPherson (Platform Presents) and Any Gardner (Finite Films).

The shape of things to come, Good Grief gets a global, worldwide online audience this weekend – a theatrical development theatre producers of old could only have dreamed about. Out of the recent chaos, good, no, great things are bubbling, bursting out.

Good Grief is a delightful, timely, perfectly formed taster of the future.

Sian Clifford
Nikesh Patel

Writer: Lorien Haynes
Director: Natalie Abrahami

Producers: Amy Gardner Finite Films
Gala Gordon Platform Presents
Isabella Macpherson Platform Presents

Original Music: Isobel Waller-Bridge
“Raising The Dead”: Johnny Flynn
Cinematographer: Emma Dalesman
Editor: Fin Oates
2nd Camera Operator: Ben Baily
Production Designer: Natalie Pryce
DIT: Helen Vidler
Hair and Makeup Artist: Charlotte Broadbent
Sound Effects Editor: Gibran Farrah
Dialogue Editor & Re-Recording Mixer: Rory de Carteret

“Raising the Dead”
Published by Kobalt Music Publishing, Courtesy of Transgression Records

Good Grief presented online by Original Theatreonline streaming February 15 – April 15, 2021

Review posted on this site, Feb 14. 2021