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Assisted Suicide: The Musical- A Review

January 19, 2017

Assisted Suicide: The Musical has a very rare, and very special, quality. It is deadly serious and hilarious, all at the same time. It brings as much humour as it is possible to bring to the least funny subject in the world- death.

 

Its creator, writer and absolutely hilarious star, Liz Carr, better known to viewers of the BBC’s Silent Witness as Clarissa Mullery, describes the show herself as “a TED talk with show tunes.” What clever, hilarious show tunes they are, too! From I’m Choosing Choice to Suicide Tourist, they each explore a different issue relating to the assisted suicide debate by literally making a song and dance about it!

The songs come at regular intervals, and I thought they were placed at just the right moments in the script. Just when the audience is about to tune out of the more serious ‘TED talk’ given by Liz Carr herself, along comes a tune to make us sit up, listen, laugh and take points in.

My personal favourite song was Put Me Down, a love song played out between a couple in the early stage of their relationship, who are discussing what would happen “if I was paralysed and couldn’t use my ****!” I loved the fact that that song is based on a scene from 2016 film Me Before You– complete with the girl wearing character Lou Clark’s beautiful long red dress!

The ‘TED Talk’ side of the show is full of very interesting facts, figures, stats and stories about assisted suicide and Liz Carr’s personal experiences as an activist who is strongly against an assisted suicide law. One such story that will stick with me was about a woman who was told she was terminally ill and given six months to live. She considered assisted suicide, but decided to go on a drug trial first and is still alive 16 years later.

Given her personal point of view on the issue, I thought Liz Carr did a very good job of presenting both sides of the debate around assisted suicide. The main way she did this was through ‘documentary Liz’ who appears on a TV screen to act as the ‘inner voice’ of ‘real Liz.’

I was slightly worried, before seeing the show, that it might be set in a fictional version of Dignitas. I had nothing to worry about. I only wish that the soundtrack was available to buy, so that I could relive the experience whenever I felt like doing so!

I saw the show last night, at London’s Southbank Centre, where it played for one night only. The next time it comes to a theatre near you, I recommend it very highly. Whichever side of the debate you are personally on, you will leave Assisted Suicide: The Musical with a smile on your face.

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