Exeter Corn Exchange, Tuesday
My dad died more than two decades ago and Tuesday would have been his birthday. Was it a good idea to go and see Sean Hughes' Life Becomes Noises – his show with death, dying and fathers at its heart – on such a significant day? The answer is a resounding "Yes". Sean's mission was to take the often taboo topic of our inevitable mortality, give it a sharp personal spin, and help us laugh at ourselves. Bingo on all three counts.
On a set that boasted a hospital bed, a drip stand, a bedpan, a portrait of a horse, a TV and an elephant puppet, Sean – in a succession of silly costumes – carried us on an honest, thoughtful, and funny trip. With plenty of local references, the teasing of some unsuspecting audience members, and odd blasts of music thrown in, Sean's rambling narrative visited cancer treatment, the pros and cons of morphine, buying stuff from cancer charity shops, doctors, forgetfulness and the way we fight not to show our emotions. He's right about that one; it wasn't until I got home that I had a good cry about missing my dad and said a silent thank you to Sean for his uplifting journey.