Current Projects

The Very Space of Absence

Audio, Zoom and Theatre Project 2020 and ongoing

Director: Patrick Morris

Partner: The Good Death? Project at Cambridge University

Academic Collaborators: Dr Laura Davies and Dr Emma Salgard-Cunha


The Good Death? Project at Cambridge University exists to create public space to talk openly and positively about death.  Conceived in a pre-pandemic world, this collaboration has evolved in unforseen ways!  We had originally intended to create a live theatre performance in partnership with a museum in Summer 2020 but world events put a stop to that.

Instead, Patrick has written and recorded 3 audio monologues from different perspectives to spur imaginative conversations about mortality.  One of them, ‘7 Arguments with Grief’ has been used in workshops with end-of-life care professionals (nurses, counsellors, therapists).  Another one, ‘A Look, A Wave’ was written in the voice of a specific painting by Nicholas Poussin which hangs in Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum.  All are available to listen to here.

This project is unique for the Ideas Stage in that it has no specific brief – the artistic outputs emerge out of conversations, reading and thinking together about how The Good Death? Project can engage more people with high quality interventions.  Consequently, we were commissioned to create a piece for the Cambridge Festival, 2021.   We were in the middle of the second wave of Covid-19, so live theatre was still impossible.  We opted for a zoom play which became ‘An Everyday Family Practice’.  This explored the intimacy of a family negotiating the prospect of a terminal illness and was inspired by the work of Dr Julie Ellis (University of Huddersfield) and colleagues.  The play has been watched over 1,000 times.

As of August 2021, we are looking forward to workshops with the Arthur Rank Hospice in Cambridge, to our recorded work being transformed into live theatre, and to some more unexpected creations as a result of this collaboration.