After Life (1998) (the stage adaptation) (the review)

After Life, known in Japan as Wonderful Life (ワンダフルライフ, Wandafuru Raifu), is a 1998 Japanese film edited, written, and directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. It has been adapted into After Life, a 2021 production at the National Theatre written by Jack Thorne, from a concept by” Bunny Christie, Jeremy Herrin and Jack Thorne, and co-produced by Headlong Theatre. It is now being reviewed by me, who worked in the bars 1 at the National Theatre for over a year 2 and watched a poor-quality DVD of the film borrowed from my university library.

It was pretty good! The emotions get bigger and broader owing to appearing on the stage and being written by the guy who did the shit Harry Potter play and Enola Holmes, but don’t hold that against it. There’s some fun stagecraft and it’ll make you consider your own mortality whilst packed into a small theatre with people taking their masks off to chew loudly on a packet of Mr Filbert’s Salt Crusted Nuts.

Three stars, some funny bits.

  1. People I served who were alright: Liam Codge” Neeson, Leonard Heonard, the tall boy from Fleabag and W1A I was a bit over-familiar with because I assumed I recognised him from real life and not the telly. People I served who were cunts: Ralph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans.↩︎

  2. Thankfully I got out of there before the theatre decided to lay off the majority of their casual staff rather than place them on furlough↩︎

August 2, 2021

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