The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 27

Matt reviews the highly anticipated new Bond film Spectre and Helen reviews Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
We hear part 2 of our in conversation piece with Slow featuring Nic Whitworth from the charity and writer of Staying Alive Kat Roberts.
In anticipation of Staying Alive, which opens this Tuesday we heard an interview with Brendan Jones who plays the character of Nathan in the play.
If you would like the chance to win two tickets to Staying Alive we have announced a competition. To be in with the chance to win tweet us @blackshawupdate or Facebook us here with your story of an awkward dinner party conversation, or an all round awkward evening you have experienced.
Competition deadline is the 21st of November and we will announce the winners on the next live Blackshaw Arts Hour (22nd November). The tickets will be valid for any night of your choosing week commencing the 23rd.
Happy listening and we are very excited to hear your awkward stories!
Get you tickets for Staying Alive here!


 [iframe src=”” width=”100%” height=”200px”]

The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 26

This week on the Blackshaw Arts Hour Matt and Vikki join Iasha in the studio.

Matt reviews Sicario and we talk the ins and outs of the Academy awards. Ellie Pitkin interviews Kat Roberts, writer of Staying Alive and Nic Whitworth from the charity SLOW. Stay tuned for the next instalment of The Blackshaw Arts Hour to hear part 2 of the interview.

Vikki is back with Arts Thing of the Week and we discuss Shakespeare translation and what this could mean in terms of making sure the language and text are protected when performed.

Finally we heard an interview by Helen Johnson with Rachel Nott who plays the part of Mary in Staying Alive. Staying Alive begins on the 10th of November and run until the 29th. Get your tickets here.

Staying Alive: learning about grief

Last week was child bereavement awareness week.  Prince William spoke at Child Bereavement UK’s 21st Birthday celebrations – you can hear his words on grief, here.


CBUK is a nationwide charity supporting those who are living the struggles portrayed in our upcoming production of Staying Alive – they support children who have lost a loved one, as well as grieving parents. It’s great to see Prince William speaking out on the great and long-lasting impact that bereavement has on all those effected.


In preparation for Staying Alive, the cast and I have been reading around the topic of grief and child bereavement (with thanks to Nic Whitworth from SLOW bereavement charity, for the recommendations).


Some of the books we’ve been reading are:

Billy, Me & You: A Memoir of Grief and Recovery by Nicola Streeten

Wave: A Memoir of Life After the Tsunami by Sonali Deraniyagala

The spiritual life of bereaved parents by Dennis Klass

Grieving Garden: Living with the Death of a Child – Twenty Two Parents Share Their Stories by Suzanne Redfern and Susan Gilbert

The Death of a Child by Peter Stanford

Levels of Life by julian barnes

Kadian Journal by Thomas Harding


You can read more about the work that SLOW, the bereavement charity that helped us with the research and development of Staying Alive, does on their website.


You can also get a good insight into the nature of grief, by reading this article on the CBUK website.


  • Ellie, Director of Blackshaw Theatre


Staying Alive: Kat Roberts & Nic Whitworth in Conversation

‘Staying Alive’ writer Kat Roberts talks to SLOW charity co-founder, Nic Whitworth, about the nature of grief, and how they worked together to research and develop the play.

Warning: Infrequent strong language.


SLOW – Surviving the Loss of your World – is a charity that supports bereaved parents. SLOW North London came about in 2007 when two bereaved mothers, Susie Hanson and Nic Whitworth, decided to provide a space where other bereaved parents could come to meet, take time out, have a cup of tea or just be with others who felt isolated in their grief. The aim at SLOW, as its name suggests, is to allow parents to grieve at their own pace and in their own time scale, and to take strength from the company and support of others; before returning to daily life and its challenges.

SLOW holds regular day-time and evening support groups for parents.  The SLOWSIBS creative workshop for bereaved children is held quarterly.

Look at our website for further information.

SLOW is a small charity with a big impact – please support us by donating at


Staying Alive is at the Pleasance 10-29th November – Book tickets now!