As Sophocles once remarked: ‘Grief teaches the steadiest minds to waver.’ So it is in Suspect Culture’s new co-production with leading disability company Graeae, in which a woman ponders over a compilation tape left by her deceased husband, a music journalist.
In such a process, the audience is bound to learn more about the listener reflecting upon her loss than the recorder of the humble (and these days anachronistic) C90, as director Graham Eatough observes. ‘With people suffering from that kind of loss, it’s the processes, the stories you tell yourself, the types of communication you still kind of have with the idea of the person, even if the person isn’t there anymore that’s important. It tells you more about their grieving process than the person gone.’
Eatough, though, maintains that for all the subject matter there’s no shortage of black humour in Dan Reballato’s script. ‘The characters are real music obsessives, so a lot of the humour of the piece comes from that obscure mix of bands you hear in the play. People like to express themselves through music they can listen to and the feelings that it can give you. A couple of the characters in the show find dealing with people face to face emotionally is harder than feeling emotions through music. There’s a certain comedy in the nerdiness of that.’