15 February 2021 (released)
Lorien Haynes’s Good Grief tells the story of the months following the death of a young woman (Liv) and how his partner and her friend cope with the aftermath. The friend is played by Sian Clifford – famously known as Fleabag’s repressed sister and Nikesh Patel plays the grieving partner. Both give excellent performances in this black comedy, Patel exuding sadness and nervousness, Clifford more nuanced though no less powerful in making you feel her despair.
The format is a hybrid between film and theatrical play, recorded in a studio. 50 minutes fly by with Natalie Abrahami providing assured direction. The scenery is extremely minimal, with cardboard boxes labelled to show what they represent; however, it doesn’t detract from immersing yourself in the drama. In another link to Phoebe Waller-Bridge, her sister Isobel is the composer of the piece.
Both leads are highly believable as a pair broken with grief, however its Clifford who steals the show with her subtle yet layered performance. This is a well observed and expertly created piece of theatre. And with viewers in search of theatrical content beyond traditional streaming services, Good Grief provides a welcome artistic escape from our frustratingly restricted lives.