So on Saturday, I went to watch a play currently showing at The National Theatre called ‘The Suicide’. I’ve decided to share some of my thoughts on its content and execution.
Without giving too much away, the play deals with Sam Desai- who after losing his benefits and consequently facing relationship difficulties becomes suicidal. Throughout the play, various characters are introduced who encourage him to go forward with the suicide – each having their own agenda. The play wasn’t afraid to throw humour at such a dark theme which in turn made the audience feel more comfortable.
The play does (perhaps indirectly) raise some interesting points. Firstly there’s the opportunism that seems to come with death. Most people around Sam saw a beneficial opportunity in the event of his death. A good real-life example of such opportunism would be of Nicole Brown Simpson’s death in which the famous OJ trial stemmed from. Her supposed ‘friend’, Faye Resnick, went on to write a tell-all book about Nicole less than a year after her death. In fact, several of the parties involved with the trial had related book deals. It seems like the dead are never truly dead- they are continuously exploited by the living for self-beneficial reasons. With each death whether it be of a celebrity or a sensationalised murder comes the numerous press, tell-all documentaries, and book deals. And let’s not forget the crappy Lifetime movie. It really never stops!
In a scene after the opening of the play, Sam is about to jump from a rooftop and some teenagers on the estate eagerly spur him on from below. There have been many real life incidents like this where people about to jump off bridges and have actually been cheered on or heckled by people below. This weird commercialisation of death (if you like) is highlighted in the eccentric character of the documentary filmmaker who is keen on filming Sam’s last days (including the suicide.) He fails to realise (as the media does on many occasions) that this is a real life he’s filming. Instead, it’s just fodder he hopes to feed to the world for recognition and to ultimately establish name.
Final Verdict: 3/5. I found it very amusing and it covered very relevant themes. However, the ending wasn’t completely cathartic and as satisfying as I expected it to be.
The play is running until June 25, 2016 at The National Theatre in Southbank, South London.