Good Grief woman!
MUCH loved actress Penelope Keith juggles comedy and tragedy in her latest play, the bittersweet Good Grief.
Bereavement is not the most obvious subject matter for a comedy, but there is also much to smile about in the play, which is being performed at the Everyman Theatre next week.
Penelope plays June Pepper, the wife of a tabloid editor who has just died, and she is dealing with her own grief.
"Bereavement is one of the last subjects we can't seem to discuss," said Penelope. "People just don't talk about it until it happens to them."
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In the play, written by journalist Keith Waterhouse, Penelope's character discovers there is far more to life than death.
She believes that people will come away from the production both with a smile on their faces and something to think about.
"Keith is the sort of person who says what other people just think," she said.
"There are some great lines, but there is plenty of substance, plenty of wry humour and many poignant moments."
As usual, Penelope has done plenty of research for her role. "We've had a talk from a former newspaper editor who worked in Fleet Street as it was and also visited St Bride's Church in London," she said.
Penelope has become somewhat of a national treasure since her roles as Margo in The Good Life and Audrey Fforbes-Hamilton in To The Manor Born.
Both saw Penelope play strong women characters and have stood the test of time.
"They were wonderful parts and I look back on them with great affection,"the actress said.
In Good Grief, Penelope's character follows her late husband's instructions to keep a journal of her feelings.
And she finds that grieving is not the straightforward process she had imagined – especially when she finds herself surprisingly drawn to a stranger she sees wearing her husband's suit.
Good Grief features a sparkling combination of wry humour and poignancy which characterises Keith Waterhouse's award-winning writing.
Performances run from Monday to October 27, with shows at 7.45pm and a 2pm matinee on Thursday and Sunday.
Tickets cost from £14 to £26 from 01242 572573.