The Elephant In The Room in Swansea

    In October 2014, we held our first Elephant In The Room event at The YMCA, Swansea

    This was a four-day event, which included an opening night musical concert, two presentations of the very moving play, "Colder Than Here", written by Laura Wade, a full programme of talks and workshops, Antonia Rolls' amazing art exhibition, "A Graceful Death", all alongside a range of information and exhibition stands.

    The weekend programme included talks by 

    Antonia Rolls (A Graceful Death)

    Jim Fox (Rest In Peace)

    Cath Burgess (Writing a Will)

    Sue Richards (Bereavement Counselling)

    Jade Buck (Story Telling)

    Sarah Hughes (Maggie's Centres)

    Dr Penny Sartori (Near Death Experiences)

    Jaqui Bastock (Crystal Therapy for End of Life)

    Rob Donovan (Organ Donation)

    Kiera L Jones (Soul Midwifery)

    Jim Fox (Sound Therapy)

    Swami Suryananda (Skanda Vale Hospice)

    Ruth Jones (Cultural Attitudes)

    On the Saturday afternoon we also held a Multi Faith forum, where a panel of representatives from various faiths and cultures, shared and answered questions on how death and dying is approached from their various perspectives. Taking part were Rev Alan Bayes (Anglican & Bishop's Officer for Interfaith), Jude Bailey (Pagan), Swami Suryananda (Skanda Vale Community of the Many Names of God), Simon O'Shea (Sokka Gakkai International Buddhist Community), Mary Jones (Roman Catholic), plus a representative from the Swansea Islamic community and also a professing atheist. The forum was chaired by Jim Fox and proved to be one of the highlights of the event.

    The following review of "Colder Than Here", performed as part of the Swansea Elephant In The Room event, appeared in the South Wales Evening Post on October 30th 2014.

    It's not often that one gets to see a performance of a play that could be described as life-changing, but Wednesday evening's preview performance of Laura Wade's "Colder Than Here" at Swansea's YMCA theatre, was one such occasion. 

    The play tells the story of Myra who has been told that, due to her secondary bone cancer, she has only months to live. Excellently played by Anne West, she sets about preparing for her funeral, seeking out a suitable green burial ground, and trying to bring her family together in order to talk and face the situation. 

    One wouldn't expect such a tale to have much in it to laugh about, but Laura Wade's script is full of lines that will have you smiling, chuckling and laughing out loud, alongside moments of deep emotion and heart moving poignancy. At one point, Ian McCory, as the husband,had us in stitches as he deals with an incompetent boiler engineer on the telephone. Angharrad Day, gives a fine portrayal of elder daughter, Harriet, who struggles with her own repressed emotions, whilst the younger, and more rebellious Jenna is brilliantly played by Melissa McCarthy, who captures the essence of a daughter who is already missing her, not yet departed, mother. It might sound like a cliché, but if you only go to see one more play this year, go to see Colder Than Here.

    The Elephant In The Room - Dorchester

    We held our second Event in The Corn Exchange, Dorchester in January 2016. Once again, the main feature was Antonia Rolls' wonderful exhibition of paintings and words "A Graceful Death". On the Saturday night the concert, "Not The End" was presented with music from Jim Fox, The Crees and Lizzie Hornby.

    Throughout the weekend, workshops and talks were presented by various individuals and groups including Felicity Warner, Kiera L Jones, Anna Biley, Battens Solicitors (who very kindly sponsored the event), Higher Ground Meadow Natural Burial site, Mosaic Children's Bereavement Support and others.

    We also had a number of exhibitors providing information and sales.