During the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, Menagerie Theatre Company and ‘A Good Death?’ collaborated on three new short audio plays, inspired by the research of Dr Laura Davies and the creative insight of writer Patrick Morris.

Seven Arguments with Grief

End of Life Care – A Ghost Story

A Look, A Wave

The audio plays were recorded in lockdown and explore death, dying and bereavement from different perspectives, including a bereaved mother, a hospital doctor, and the voice of a famous painting of a deathbed scene, Nicolas Poussin’s ‘Extreme Unction’ (or ‘Final Anointing’ c.1638-40).

Seven Arguments With Grief

End of Life Care: A Ghost Story

The next audio play is to be listened to on headphones while looking at the original painting or a colour reproduction of ‘Extreme Unction’ from the Seven Sacraments (Series 1) by Nicolas Poussin. Images © Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

A Look, A Wave

You can also hear more about the experiences of everyone involved in this collaboration through short video interviews with Laura, Patrick, and the actors who voiced the audio plays, Caroline Rippin and Shane Shambhu.


At the University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas in 2021, we also premiered a fourth original drama created with Menagerie Theatre. This video play, An Everyday Family Practice, explores the impact on the wider family of the young adult son’s terminal diagnosis. Warm and comic but also deeply moving it grapples with how the diagnosis prompts challenging conversations, and reveals fissures and ruptures in the family, whilst also affording moments of deep connection.

You can watch the short play for free here.


Menagerie is a new-writing theatre company resident at Cambridge Junction. They develop and produce new plays which engage powerfully, imaginatively and critically with the contemporary world. They do this through the Hotbed Festival, community projects, and the Ideas Stage, an ongoing programme of collaborations with academic researchers that uses theatre to examine key ideas which influence our world.


The materials on this page are licensed CC BY-NC-ND 3.0. You are welcome to use and share them, and we would love to hear from you about what these plays mean for you and your community.
Join the conversation @what_death #gooddeath

These plays are part of an ongoing collaboration and a larger work in progress. We want to hear your thoughts about them and to be challenged by new perspectives. Join the conversation @what_death #gooddeath

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