DocNights: Much Ado About Dying 15

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From the archive

This film was last shown on 25 March 2024

It begins with a voicemail: ‘I think I may be dying’.

Chambers’ octogenarian uncle, long-retired actor David Newlyn Gale, isn’t quite at death’s door. Nevertheless, his health has deteriorated in recent years. He lives in an unsuitable flat, sustaining himself on cans of soup, keeping himself warm with a small army of electric heaters and battling a mice infestation with toothpaste.

It soon becomes clear that his greatest sources of nourishment are literature and theatre. And he sees in his nephew, who is also gay, a like-minded creative soul. Between the Shakespearean monologues, Much Ado About Dying presents an intimate, occasionally funny and ultimately moving portrait of a solitary life and a quietly critical assessment of the inadequate resources available in the UK for a rapidly ageing population.

DocNights, in collaboration with Sheffield DocFest, is a monthly screening of documentary films taking place on the last Monday of every month.

This screening will be introduced by a member of the DocFest team.


Simon Chambers
1 hour 25 minutes


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