Creative Collaboration with The Colours of Loss: The Impact of Sharing Your Grief Story

Date: Sat Mar 25th

Time: 09:00

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What is the effect of telling stories about loss when we are grieving or nearing the end of life? How can a collaborative creative activity bring bereaved people together?

In 2022, award-winning theatre company Crowded Room Theatre Company partnered with the University of Bristol to explore these questions. Together they ran workshops with small groups of bereaved people. The participants were asked to create a story about the death of a beloved tree. The participants’ words and voices were recorded and then edited together to make a story called The Colours of Loss.

Crowded Room have also produced The Colours, a new audio play created from conversations recorded in a seaside hospice. The play explores the end of life from the perspective of patients, their families and palliative care professionals. It also includes the story of how the writer, Harriet Madeley, was diagnosed with a life-limiting illness (PSC). It considers the role of creativity in reckoning with mortality and stars Morfydd Clark (from The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Saint Maud, and His Dark Materials).

Finally, artistic directors Harriet Madeley and Mark Knightley, play therapist Amanda Seyderhelm joined researcher Lesel Dawson for a panel discussion titled Grief, Metaphor and Storytelling: The Colours & The Colours of Loss to discuss how and why telling stories about grief might offer us a safe way to explore difficult emotions and connect with those who have died. They also talk about the experience of working on a creative task as a group, and how artmaking can facilitate connection and community. 

The Colours

Writer: Harriet Madeley
Producers: Crowded Room (Mark Knightley, Hannah Tookey, Harriet Madeley)
Director: Max Barton
Sound designer: Jethro Cooke

Joy: Morfydd Clark
Joe: Glyn Pritchard
Jill: Maxine Evans
Ray: Ellis Hall
Doctor: Mark Knightley
Erica: Claire-Marie Hall

*The Colours, The Colours of Loss, and the panel discussion ‘Grief, Metaphor and Storytelling’ will be available on-demand online on March 25th. Register to receive viewing details closer to the time.* 


Harriet Madeley

Amanda Seyderhelm

Mark Knightley

Dr Lesel Dawson