THE only thing in life that we can all be certain of is that we will die.

For many of us this may seem rather sombre and morbid, but for artists Antonia Beck and Lucy Nicholls it is the very inspiration behind The Death Show, coming to Lighthouse, Poole next month.

Created in response to a provocative and unashamedly honest dialogue about death, Antonia and Lucy have written and produced The Death Show to better understand society’s relationship with death and dying, and why we struggle to accept our own mortality. It is both a personal view of the subject matter, and an exploration of how we can have better conversations about death and dying.

There has been a real shift in the death positivity movement in the last few years. In 2011 the death acceptance collective. The Order of the Good Death, was launched by US author Caitlin Doughty (previously a crematory operator, funeral director and mortician) and continues to gain momentum across the world as it encourages more open and honest discussions about death, embracing our mortality and working towards having a good, pain-free death.

The Death Show is a response to that journey, presented as a live, contemporary performance that is funny, surreal, reflective, honest and references a good dose of pop culture. Despite their mutual thanataphobia (fear of death), Antonia and Lucy don’t believe that death should be seen as morbid, macabre, weird, disturbing, melancholic or, most importantly, unmentionable.

“We both had a crippling fear of death,” says Lucy. “Making the show felt like a practical and productive way of exploring where these fears came from and detoxifying them. To name the thing is to take away its power. Naming and acknowledging our fear and holding it up to the light, helped us see it better and it became less scary.”

Antonia agrees: “Through this project we realised how important and necessary it is for us as individuals and as a society to talk about death. It shouldn’t be a subject matter that is discussed in whispers; talking about death can be incredibly life affirming. With The Death Show we hope that people will take up our invitation to come together to celebrate their own mortality, maybe laugh, maybe cry and ultimately bring death out of the shadows and into the light.”

n The Death Show is at Lighthouse Poole on Friday July 12