Let's Talk About Death,Baby ... the thinking

So two and a half years after my first solo show I am doing it again.Why?

In the first show ‘Dick Johns- What Midlife Crisis?’ I pretty much threw the audience the full panoply of what I will hesitatingly call my abilities. There was me singing karaoke,me running a pub quiz,me telling stories,me reading stories ,me putting on a dress and singing ‘Yes Sir I can Boogie’ by Baccara. The whole thing was two - and - a - bit hours of licensed eclecticism. This time it’s more focused . An hour in which I will explore legacy. I have often told the story of my Dad dying in a hospice in Penarth in 2005. I have told it to friends,and I have told it at public storytelling events. It is received positively,and triggers reminiscence afterwards in others about the loss of a loved one.Great.And also:so what? Well I guess the ‘so what?’ is this show. What is remembered about us when we are no longer here is beyond our control,because we are no longer here. And yet we seek to control our legacies.I realised that I sit on the pier in Penarth and look up the hill to the hospice where my father died, and find it comforting,even though he is not there.I also keep some stuff of his. A pipe. Some great 1960’s thin ties,a ‘Division Two Runners-Up’ Radyr Cricket Club trophy from 1974. I am sure he did not see these items as how he would be recalled. And yet they are. And so I wanted to explore how we are remembered.

I look also at shared memory,and how we shape the story of those no longer here. And I do it front of you because I think it is a journey you might want to go on too,for those you have loved and lost,and indeed for yourself. Finally I look honestly at how I might be remembered,and ask you how you will be remembered. And so every night will be a slightly different journey.

I can’t wait. See you there.

Dick Johns-Let’s Talk About Death ,Baby. Chapter 25,26,27th September,2018 at 8pm. Tickets £12/£10 https://www.chapter.org/lets-talk-about-death-baby

Recent Posts

About the Author

Dick is an actor and a writer. His acting credits in a career spanning 25 years include Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth for the English Shakespeare Company and Malvolio in Twelfth Night for York Theatre Royal. Television includes The Office, My Hero, High Hopes and Belonging (BBCTV) and Caerdydd (S4C). He has appeared in many Radio Dramas for Radios 3 and 4, and was for several years a compere on the comedy circuit. In 2016 his one-man show Dick Johns What Midlife Crisis? played to sell-out houses at Chapter, Cardiff; and the sequel Let’s Talk About Death, Baby will play at the same venue in September 2018. Dick is Lead Tutor at Young Actors Studio, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He is a veteran pantomime Dame, most recently in Jack and the Beanstalk at Blackwood Miners Institute. Dick lives in Penarth with his wife and three children. As the writer Dick Johns he won the 2015 Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook Short Story Award for his story ‘Joy’. His short story collection Dignity and Other Stories is available to buy at www.dickjohns.co.uk