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Pete Lawrence - 15 May 2017


‘Extraordinary storytelling... comforting and uplifting' The Guardian

An extraordinary night of theatre in Brighton, examining the tricky subject of death and the ending of cycles, described by producer Tamara Saulwick as "like a radio documentary that’s been wrenched from the airwaves, then reconstituted and refracted through old technology and live performance."

The approach is mixed-media, with tape loops played through old reel-to-reel machines, vinyl acetates on lo-fi portable turntables and historic portable dictation machines. Choreographed hanging lighting and special effects enhanced the eeriness.

Acclaimed Australian performance-maker Saulwick transcribed ordinary people’s experiences of death, dying and the afterlife into a storytelling narrative and brought about the almost involuntary invocation of a spirit of uplift. Voices of the living emerge ghost-like from records; performers converse with the taped voices of past conversations; and song floats across the familiar crackle of vinyl. Featuring the songs of acclaimed singer/songwriter, angel-voiced Paddy Mann (Grand Salvo) and sound design by Peter Knight, Endings was first performed at the Sydney Festival in 2015, where it won an award for Design and Realisation.

Endings is a strange and remarkable expression of the universal desire to stay connected to loved ones once they are gone. The experience left me with a sense of resolution about the transience of life and the fragility and impermanence of our life cycles, when viewed as part of the bigger picture. The effects of this unusual but evocative meditation lingered with me long after the show.


'I have to admit that I was deeply affected by Endings... Saulwick's piece released a suppressed wave of emotions in me. I can't say that I've ever had an experience quite like that... a testament to the power of theatre that can have you walking out a different person than the one that walked inBroadway World

'Not so much about grief as death's strange intimacy' ★★★★  Sydney Morning Herald

'An elegant, economic production that delivers on its promise to stay with you long after you leave' ★★★★  The Guardian




Kate Edgley

The more I talked about this show the more it made sense to me. At the time it seemed sparse, empty, but a few days later its apparently disperate parts converged. Clips of voices and swinging lamps amid darkness echoed the twilight experience of dying and the singularity of a man's sweet but haunting voice pierced the sparse set. The main 'character's' polite expression on receiving the comments of others, barely concealing the pain of her grief was poignant. The simplicity of this show was its strength, its riches continuing to reveal themselves days after seeing it.

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