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An Instinct for Kindness (Tour - Lancaster)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Chris Larner’s play about how he took his ex-wife to Dignitas in Switzerland to die is a tale for our times.With humour and pathos he tells how his chronically ill ex-wife Alison Lee asked for his help and he gave it.

His straightforward, detailed delivery adds to the tension, particularly towards the end of the 90-minute show when Alison swallows the chemicals which end her life. Given the subject matter it’s inevitably an emotional, heart-rending show, but Chris picks up on the humour and ordinariness of real life which gives the story even more power. There are laughs right up until the end of Alison’s life, something which makes her death more poignant.

It’s an energetic one-hander by Chris, who has also written the show, and as he walks and bounds around the stage taking on a variety of guises - including his dead wife, doctors, notaries and nurses - he creates a gripping narrative. Whatever your thoughts about assisted suicide, this story of one woman’s decision to die and the man who helped her is little short of riveting.

- Susan Riley


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