The longest day of the year, and I spent it seeing a show called Melancholy. As you do.

The piece is the creation of the company Certain Dark Things, and it uses puppetry, performance and animation to explore the nature of grief. It begins with a short animation (beautifully created by Emily Knight) showing a scientist with his pregnant wife, who then dies. The scientist (Stephen McCabe, in a sensitive and evocative performance) is deeply affected by grief, and decides to try and rebuild his wife, haunted and distracted by a small puppet child who hovers around him (Sarah Morgan and Laura Romer-Ormiston).

It’s compelling, moving and sensitive in its exploration of grief. There are no words in the piece: everything is conveyed through mime, expression and music. It was never dull and held my attention throughout.

Melancholy is affecting but ultimately uplifting, and definitely worth seeing if it comes your way.


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