Rehearsed on Zoom, filmed in a studio, released in lockdown, this production of Lorien Haynes’ Good Grief finds that this might actually be the right time for this play. At 45 minutes, it would be tricky to programme in a theatre but for our online viewing attention spans, it feels just about right.
After the death of a young woman, the play tracks the grieving process for her husband and best friend at various intervals over several months. From late night chats to arguments in IKEA car parks, debates over what to do with her possessions and what to put on her headstone, it’s a deeply felt exploration of what it is like to live with the constant reverberations of grief.
Directed by Natalie Abrahami and perfectly cast with Nikesh Patel and Sian Clifford, Good Grief is often powerfully affecting. The impact of their loss is a burden they want to share and sometimes they can but equally, it is something they feel differently and that push and pull is beautifully essayed across the scenes.
As ideas of moving on encroach though, the play is perhaps a little less convincing, as its messiness tends towards the conventional. But even then, Abrahami’s decision to keep the lines between theatre and film so obvious offer a continual reset which allows those moments of sharpness in the writing to take your breath away.
Good Grief is available to watch until 15 April 2021.