People would move seats on the bus. But I can’t get on the bus cos I’m waiting
for this old man to call
Following its premiere at Edinburgh Fringe 2016, Ian Bonar and Rob Watt collaborate once again to bring Be Prepared to VAULT Festival for a limited run. This is a heart-breaking and moving yet hilarious play about one man struggling to remember while another finds himself unable to forget.
Tom’s a mess. Mr Chambers keeps phoning him asking for a funeral director. Tom is not a funeral director. Getting one digit wrong can change a person’s life forever. Conversations become confused and memories intertwine and unravel. Be Prepared tells the story of two strangers who unwittingly help each other to remember and connect to the people they loved
Inspired by Ian Bonar’s own experiences of his father’s death and subsequently finding his grandad’s cherished memoires, Bonar uses his grandad’s words, some verbatim and some embellished to explore memory, grief and how we remember things. Be Prepared is a darkly comic one-man show that captures the millions of tiny emotions and confusions that ambush you when you lose someone
Writer and performer Ian Bonar comments, Death is funny, right? When I found my Grandad’s journal it was fascinating and heart-breaking to see his memories literally disintegrate on the page as his mind began to fail him, and it made me think about my Dad, about what I wanted to forget about his death and the things I desperately wanted to remember about his life. Why could remember every detail of the hilariously awful experience of going to the local Funeral Director (with whom my family nearly shared a phone number) but struggled to conjure up the sound of his voice? And as Rob and I made the show we learned that grief is both the most specific, individual, private experience – and the most beautifully universal thing that we should all maybe share a bit more…
This is a powerful collaboration between Bonar, one of nine writers in the Orange Tree Writers Collective 2016 and previous alumnus of a Royal Court invitational writers group, and Rob Watt, who is an Associate at Headlong Theatre, lead artist at Lyric Hammersmith, and artist mentor at the Barbican. They will be joined by sound designer and successful musician Alex Crispin and critically acclaimed lighting designer Charlie Morgan Jones
Be Prepared was developed at The RSC Other Place and had a first full run at the RSC Fringe Festival. It was then selected to be part of Underbelly Untapped at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.