Some rather unusual research at Waterloo Station….

The old Necropolis Railway Platform

The old Necropolis Railway Platform

Our research for A First Class Death for VAULT Festival 2015 is taking us in so many unusual yet wonderful directions! Playwright Jason Hall spent a day shadowing a funeral director (more info to follow) while I explored the old Necropolis platform now turned fantastic Make Space Studios (you can see the studios as you come into Waterloo Station). See Make Space Studios for a fantastic YouTube video about the Necropolis Railway. Anna (Assistant Director) and I also had a brilliantly inspiring evening at a Death Cafe ( enjoying tea, cake and talking about death with some lovely people. Though we’ll admit to being slightly apprehensive beforehand we had such a fun, joyful and inspirational evening. Meanwhile, our R&D workshops with a fantastic bunch of actors led to sharing stories of sadness as well as much heart warming laughter.

The old Necropolis Railway Line

The old Necropolis Railway Line

What sort of music would you like played at your funeral? We discussed Danny Boy, The Lord Is My Shepherd and Shania Twain. Yes, someone’s granddad was carried down the aisle to ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’! Wonderful. And as well as bits of improv, storymaking exercises and attempting to physicalise the stages of death, we also took to the streets to try our hand at giving tours as our piece has a tour guide element to it. All great fun and thanks so much to everyone involved!

Really looking forward to sharing all our thoughts and findings about death, funerals and the Necropolis Railway with you in February 2015 at VAULT Festival.

Now back to reading ‘Death, Dying and Bereavement‘. Some light-hearted reading for a Christmas evening! 🙂

Happy Christmas!


A First Class Death‘A First Class Death’

1854: London’s cemeteries are full. The London Necropolis Railway is built in Waterloo station to transport the dead outside the city. 2015: London’s cemeteries are filling. The line is re-opening. And you’ve got a ticket. Baseless Fabric invite you onboard for this promenade performance about the fact you’re going to die one day.

A First Class Death uses the fascinating history of Waterloo’s vaults to explore the attitudes and rituals around dying today. The piece will challenge, entertain and involve the audience as they move through the local area and the atmospheric Cavern space, once a repository for the dead awaiting their final journey.



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