INTERROBANG‽’s show for Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief’s Good Death Week is primed to bring its audience some fresh perspectives on what it means to be alive. And also the opposite of that.
If you’ve had the pleasure of enjoying Stuart Kenny’s work on the spoken word scene and elsewhere, you’ll know that fresh perspectives are what he does. As evidenced by his responses to our Death Café-style questions.
What’s he got for us‽ Read on…
‽: Hi, Stuart. Let’s start with an actual Death Café sample question – Where would you like to be when you die?
SK: I came pretty close once in a very humid hospital in Slovenia (another story for another time), so on the back of that I’m going to say probably not a hospital. I know live fast, die young is the romantic trend but I’d probably rather live fast for a bit, and then live kind of medium-to-normal, and then live slow for a while, and then live super slow for my last few years, in a nice cottage in the Scottish outdoors, reading books and listening to the critically acclaimed soul album that Kanye West eventually brought out when he hit 70 and chilled the fuck out.
‽: In 1907, a Massachussetts doctor called Duncan MacDougall claimed to measure the mass lost by a human when the soul departed the body as being 21 grams. Assuming Dr MacDougall was right, what are souls made of?
SK: Well, a quick search on The Measure of Things suggests that 21 grams is the same weight as a small mouse, or about one-and-four-fifths times as heavy as a AAA battery. So maybe a mouse? Or more likely, one-and-four-fifths of a really long lasting AAA battery? Or perhaps it changes from person to person. In that case I’d say mine is probably just 21 grams of coffee grains and sugar.
‽: Well, that’s a website to keep Interrobang busy till the show. Now, let’s get morbid. Or anthemic. Or gleeful. What song would you most like to play at your funeral?
SK: James Blunt’s Back to Bedlam (2004) in full. Not a dry eye in the house. Alternatively, a play of Madonna’s Like a Prayer would be great for, if nothing else, confirming that I’m definitely dead. I would have to be a whole lot of dead to not get out of my coffin and sing along to that song.
No goosebumps at 3m 33s? Then you’re a goner!
‽: In Alan Spence’s Way To Go, a young undertaker takes to making brightly painted coffins in unusual shapes (including, say, football boots) at the request of clients. What would make a good coffin for a good death?
SK: I’m a big fan of cheese. Particularly melted cheese. So one of my great woes is that in life, I will never be able to plant myself directly in the middle of a bucket of fondue without giving myself third-degree burns. This is, however, possible in death. If I was to be in a coffin which was made entirely of cheese, and the full coffin was then cremated, this effect would be achieved, and my body would spend its final moments the way I enjoyed some of my best – surrounded by melted cheese.
‽: Need anything to dip in that? A spring onion coffin, maybe?
Finally, without too many spoilers, what can you tell us about what you’ve got in store for INTERROBANG: Live And Let Die?
SK: Along with musician Grant Robertson (who also happens to be my flatmate) and illustrator Lewis Gillies (who also happens to be our best mate), we’ve been putting together The Space Gecko project, a very wholesome spoken word show for Hidden Door Festival (in Leith on 1 June) which follows the love story of two geckos from their birth to their ultimately romantic but tragic death.
I’ll be performing some never-heard-before poems from The Space Gecko Project at Live and Let Die, and I’ve also written a little bit of surreal new prose for the event, involving the man himself, Death, and a guy called Geoff, who is very much still in his pyjamas.
We told you, right‽ Find out more about The Space Gecko Project here, and find out what happens to Geoff as INTERROBANG: Live And Let Die‽ for Good Death Week, on 14th May at Summerhall. Tickets are available here.
Thanks are due to the good people at Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief for their assistance in putting together INTERROBANG: Live And Let Die‽ Check out GLGDGG and the great work they do here.