The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church

Written and Performed by Daniel Kitson
The Corn Exchange, Newbury, and touring
(2011)

The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church publicity image

Daniel Kitson is undoubtedly a consummate story-teller. His latest show, The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church, won a Fringe First Award in Edinburgh in 2009 and was richly deserved.

He delivers this incredible tale at a breakneck, rattling speed, spinning a web of intrigue as Church's story is revealed.

In September 2007 he was thinking of moving out of London and was looking for a house in Yorkshire. Whilst the estate agent was showing him round the dwelling he discovered in the loft cardboard boxes filled with letters.

Although he didn't buy the property he offered to take away the boxes of letters and so started an incredible quest to piece together the life of the late Gregory Church.

As he read the first 56 letters it became obvious that these were suicide notes to a variety of Church's friends including his bank manager, Huddersfield Town Football Club, a schoolboy who was being bullied at a bus stop and his closest female friend.

Kitson highlights major incidents in Church's dreary claustrophobic life as he sits typing 20 letters a day with a rope noose dangling above his desk.

But why has Church written 30,000 letters and taken 24 years to die? He apparently became obsessed with receiving replies to his letters and so the lengthy correspondence and delayed suicide continued.

In The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church Kitson gives a master class in storytelling drawing you into the intricate circuitous narrative whilst keeping the audience laughing, quite an achievement.

He develops a quirky rapport with his audience and heckles one for having his mobile phone on and a woman for rattling her bag of chocolates. Even the technicians are told off for a microphone glitch. "If it goes wrong again I'm going to take it off and shout - I'll shout rude words!" he declares and the audience loved it.

This was 90 minutes of mesmerizing stories told with passion in Kitson's unique captivating style in what was a thoroughly enjoyable evening's entertainment that left you both laughing and thinking.

Reviewer: Robin Strapp