Life, Death and Sticky Toffee Pudding

Unforgettable live show & workshops coming soon to Warwickshire Libraries to complement Death Awareness Week.

Comedy, stories and songs about… death? It sounds unlikely, but that is exactly what storyteller Cat Weatherill and comedian, funeral celebrant and musician Ruth Graham bring to the libraries of Rugby, Atherstone and Bedworth in May with their show Unforgettable.

‘Isn’t that a bit morbid?’ we asked Cat Weatherill. ‘No, we promise people they will go home smiling! It’s a show that celebrates the strength and spirit behind most ordinary lives. It’s loving and joyously alive.’

Unforgettable will be informative too. Co-performer Ruth Graham is a professional funeral celebrant, as well as a comedian. After some shows there will be a friendly audience discussion, for anyone who has questions.

Families can get very worried about funerals – what to say; what is ‘allowed’ or appropriate. Cat and Ruth want to show people they can write their own speeches that have far more meaning than the ‘off the peg’ ones too many people have heard.

With this is mind, the duo are offering free workshops to accompany the cabaret show. The first is how to create great stories about unforgettable people. The second is how to write a perfect eulogy. ‘Family stories can be used anytime,’ says Cat. ‘Not just at funerals! Weddings, birthday parties, leaving dos… Learning how to shape one is a very useful skill.’

Cat travels internationally, teaching people how to tell their own stories. She is also one of Europe’s leading performance storytellers for adults. As well as being a comedy performer, Ruth leads the popular Irish band Celtic Clan. The show will feature some of the most popular funeral songs, from Nat King Cole to Monty Python.

Unforgettable is funded by Arts Council England and complements Death Awareness Week, which encourages people to chat about death around the kitchen table, not leave it till the hospital ward. This ties in with a growing trend towards more family-led, creative funerals.

How is it, being a funeral celebrant? Does Ruth look on the bright side of life? ‘Always!’ she laughs.

Stella Thebridge, a Principal Librarian at Warwickshire Libraries, said:

“We are very pleased to welcome Cat and Ruth to lead this work complementing Death Awareness Week in May. It is a difficult subject which they will treat sensitively.

“Libraries in Warwickshire work closely with colleagues in our Registration Services, often sharing premises. With the print and online resources libraries can provide, we are perfectly placed to host both the show and the workshops for Warwickshire communities.”

The Unforgettable cabaret show and the two workshops are at the following Warwickshire Libraries, who can provide further information:

Unforgettable show

  • Atherstone Library – Tuesday 7 May 12.30-2pm
  • Rugby Library – Thursday 9 May 7-8.30pm
  • Bedworth Library – Thursday 16 May 12.30-2pm

Workshop 1 – The gold Rolls-Royce

  • Atherstone Library – Tuesday 14 May, 12.30-3pm
  • Rugby Library – Fri 10 May, 9.30-12noon
  • Bedworth Library – Monday 20 May 12.30-3pm

Workshop 2 – The story of a life

  • Atherstone Library – Tues 21 May 12.30-3pm
  • Rugby Library – Friday 10 May 1.30-4pm
  • Bedworth Library – Wednesday 22 May 12.30-3pm

Further information can also be found at unforgettablestories.co.uk

Booking is advised to ensure a place, via the Eventbrite link on www.warwickshire.gov.uk/libraries.