Unlimited Theatre co-founders and Fringe First Award winners Jon Spooner and Chris Thorpe (Royal Exchange Theatre Associate Artist) present their first two-hander, a funny and moving look at the social, political and ethical implications of contemporary advances in resuscitation practice. Am I Dead Yet? opens in The Studio, Royal Exchange Theatre on Wednesday 20 April, directed by Amy Hodge, recipient of Jerwood Directors Award 2007, whose previous credits include The Rover (Hampton Court Palace) and Romeo and Juliet (Theatre Uz, Uzbekistan for the British Council).

Filled with stories, songs and a live demonstration of CPR techniques, Unlimited Theatre has created Am I Dead Yet? in response to these developments and the impact they may have on our collective experience of death.

Am I Dead Yet? previewed at the Bush Theatre’s Radar festival in 2014 and was part of the British Council Showcase at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh in August 2015. The show was created in collaboration with Emergency Care doctor and secretary of the Resuscitation Council UK Dr Andy Lockey. Medical professionals are predicting that in the near future we’ll be resuscitating patients many hours after the heart stops beating. Death is increasingly understood as a process rather than a moment – a process that can be reversed with timely intervention.

Artistic Director and co-writer Jon Spooner says: “At a time when medical science is radically reimagining the definitions and understanding of death, we wanted to ask and answer some of the big, personal questions that naturally arise around dying – particularly as death is rarely talked about openly, clearly and honestly.”

The work is Unlimited Theatre’s latest to bring together arts and science following The Ethics Of Progress (also directed by Amy Hodge), a performance lecture about quantum physics and The Noise, in which the company worked with neuroscientists to look at sound and memory.

Am I Dead Yet? Is performed at the Royal Exchange Theatre, The Studio, 20 – 23 April 2016.  Tickets £12 / £10 concessions.  Running time 60 minutes.

Royal Exchange Theatre.  image credit University of Salford Press Office/flickr under creative commons licence.