In 2019 Dead Happy? was selected as a Pick Of The Fringe show at The Warren. Whoop!
"Wonderful to watch"
**** Reviews Hub
"A laugh and cry kind of offering, superbly acted"
**** Broadway Baby
"A brilliant creation"
"A masterclass in character development. A must-see show."
About the show:
Meet mild-mannered Francis Putlock - Funeral Director, raconteur..... guru? He has seen many things, and done worse - but is he alive or dead? Are we slaves to past actions, or do they make us stronger? Witty and poignant, but never morbid, Dead Happy? asks us what it takes to become truly happy.
Dead Happy? has played to audiences large and small, at Festivals and in private houses. Led by strong performance, with minimal use of props, Dead Happy? takes you on a journey at once individual and universal. Intimate and confessional, Francis Putlock may just become your new best friend.
After playing to standing ovations at the Buddhafield Festival in 2017 and 2018, and in Brighton 2019, we are now available for domestic performances in your own home. Once again, death is on the menu... Are you hungry?
The Reviews Hub 2019
"Standing before the audience in full morning suit is funeral director Francis Putlock. He has been called here as there should be a body in the house for him to take away. Soon realising this is not the case, he surmises we must have summoned him so he can regale us with tales from his life as an undertaker. He has some time on his hands so he agrees to oblige and with a happy demeanour and a glint in his eye begins a thoroughly entertaining monologue which captivates the room for 50 minutes.Putlock amuses and delights the gathering with observations on death and how it affects different people in different ways. “Men are much more pathetic” when it comes to death is one such declaration. Stories of death phobic relatives, scattering ashes, graveside fights, unusual gifts left at headstones, an attempted rescue of a rabbit in an unexpected place and the inappropriate loss of teeth, ensue. Plenty of giggles arise from the narrative as do pauses for thought and reflection.
Juxtaposed to these lighter tales of death and mishap are the moments when Putlock discusses his time in the Royal Navy and lost years that follow. Welled up with tears and anguish the room is silent as the horror unfolds.
Behind the plucky Putlock is writer and performer Simon Lovat, an actor with over thirty-five years experience. The professionalism and skill gained over the years show as Lovat takes us through a full range of emotions from glee and bliss to fear, anger and despair. Wonderful to watch, Lovat always entertains and is a very engaging performer able to draw upon a well of emotion at a moments notice.
Dead Happy? is a thoughtful, charming vignette about death and the way we should live life before the grim reaper comes and knocks for us too; an absorbing one-man play." Simon Topping
Broadway Baby 2019
**** "It’s a laugh and cry kind of offering, superbly acted"
Fringe Guru 2013
"What I really admired was Lovat’s ability to manage a delicate balance of humour and sadness; one moment you’re laughing, and the next you want to cry. He completely inhabits Putlock, a brilliant creation, and because the show’s set in your house – beginning with a knock on the door – there’s nowhere for him to hide. This is theatre as up-close and personal as you can get… If anyone were to ask me what single show encapsulates what I think the Fringe should be about, I might well choose this one. To have someone come into your house and perform a play that makes you laugh, cry, and feel challenged… that would make for a great night out in." Darren Taffinder, Fringeguru 7.5.2013
"An engaging and moving one-man show, performed with a beautiful lack of theatricality, Dead Happy is a carefully structured musing on death; a fictional autobiography... I would urge you to book Dead Happy – Simon Lovat will bring a unique experience right into your living room." Jessica Cheetham, The Argus 4.5.2013
Listen to an interview with Fringereview, caught on the hoof, below:
The genesis of the play:
It started out as a play with a twist: - your own home being the venue for an intimate and affecting theatre experience difficult to achieve in a conventional venue. We performed Dead Happy? like this in the Brighton Fringe Festival 2013 and 2015, and have performed it many, many times elsewhere. When performing in venues, we like to keep it small, to preserve the intimate atmosphere.
We get a lot of audience reviews. For example:
"Dead Happy? Yes I was. I saw it last night. It was Brilliant!" Anna, Brighton
"I went through a whole range of emotions during the performance. Definitely thought-provoking, but very positive." Valerie, Bristol
"I was lucky enough to enjoy a performance of Dead Happy during the Brighton festival of 2013. Catch it if you can. Brilliant and captivating, a very special evening shared with friends..." Lulu, Brighton
"We all appreciated such high-class one-man-theatre." Dhivan, Bristol
"Thank you for performing at our house last night. Really wonderful, thought-provoking production. The party was talking well after you left. If the transcript is ever published I would love to buy a copy." Amber, Brighton.
"The production was both profound and enlightening. Many thanks for it..." Jo, Brighton
"A brilliant evening." Kamalamani, Bristol
"I saw Dead Happy on Monday. It was brilliant. I shan't give anything else away. Book this ASAP. You don't want to miss this." Abigail, London
"This is fantastic theatre. From the moment he comes in the door and sits down in the chair you know you are in for a real theatrical treat. The acting is superb, and the script takes you across the world and back again to some beautiful evocations of the cemetery. He manages to show the beauty and the wisdom of his experience and it is never morbid. When he walks out of the door at the end of the show you will be breathless." Mike, Brighton
We are available for bookings in the South East region (or further afield by negotiation).
Brighton & Hove; Lewes; Rottingdean: £80.00.
East Sussex: £100.00
How does it work? Well, it's a social experiment. It's up to you to decide how many friends you wish to attend the performance. Will you share the cost, or give it as a present? You could have a meal together, and afterwards the entertainment arrives at your door! This way, a unique audience is formed of people who all know one another. Almost like a family. If ten people attend, it's cheap as chips! So if you are looking for high quality theatre with a difference, this is the show for you. You won't forget it.
The show has been performed in many spaces, with audiences ranging from 80 in a theatre context, to a party of dinner guests sitting round a table - and on two occasions the play has been performed to a cosy couple lounging in bed! Yes. Honestly. It's entirely up to you how you enjoy it. But one thing is certain: you will never have another theatrical experience quite like this one...
The actor doesn't need much room, but he will need a chair. A dining chair is best. The Stage Manager will help you before the performance.
There is no audience participation and the show runs for 55 minutes without a break.
The maximum audience size generally is 10 people
If you wish to book a performance, simply contact us via the Contact page to arrange date and time. We look forward to hearing from you.