Review: The Grim

A captivating tale of colourful characters and a story steeped in the misery of the dead

Review: The Grim

Quietly Fighting Theatre’s show, The Grim, launched me into a fun, immersive experience all around Brighton. 

You see, it was just a typical day when I discovered that I had died. However, my passage to the afterlife was not yet complete, for I had an appointment with the formidable and inimitable figure known as The Grim.

Within those hallowed confines, an alternative purpose awaited me beyond my vocation as a journalist. Lo and behold, I was to assume the role of a Trainee Reaper. How exciting! Extending my freelance duties, I was tasked with hunting down some pesky souls refusing to pass over into the afterlife with my fellow trainee Reapers. 

Tick. Tick. Tick. 

After an initial briefing with one of the story’s memorable characters, we soon launched an intriguing investigation where each character offers critical information. There were high stakes, games, and multiple venues–including an entertaining FBI-type raid in an actual hotel room. 

Its story presents a captivating and fun tale, enhanced by excellent improv acting, a constant countdown, and a clock constantly ticking away. All the characters were exceptionally crafted, with incredible personas, costumes and delivering stellar performances.

In just 70 minutes, The Grim manages to present some intriguing, philosophically interesting moral dilemmas. Similarly, it raises valuable ethical concerns over serious matters. Who should live, and who should die?

“Have you got the time?”
“I’ve always got the time for you”

However, the moral conundrum it undertakes fails to align with the superlative storytelling surrounding death and the afterlife. The intention and message the show strives to impart are commendable, yet they fall somewhat short. There are particular beliefs regarding passing over into the afterlife, and ideas within the show are a little questionable as it pushes players towards what is portrayed as the “morally correct” thing to do.

The emphasis on choice and consequence, while at times hyperbolic (presumably for dramatic effect), can create scepticism among audience members, undermining the fundamental plot and its trustworthiness.

Many of the so-called "lessons" learned fail to resurface within the production, rendering them seemingly inconsequential, save for their initial intriguing allure. Although the production builds up considerable momentum, regrettably, the ending proves somewhat underwhelming. As participants make their final decisions, they are simply handed a letter, without any proper closure or conclusive resolution.

The Grim could be improved by providing more of a follow-up to these weird and wonderful characters. Unfortunately, the absence of an ending leaves one wondering about the fate of these extraordinary characters and the world they inhabit.

Nevertheless, The Grim is a highly intriguing and impressive show. Its ambition is grand, and its characters, performances and world are outstanding. There is no show or experience like The Grim. With some small refinements, it could reach a 5/5.

Header Image Credit: Quietly Fighting Theatre

Author

Elle Farrell-Kingsley

Elle Farrell-Kingsley Kickstart Team

An experienced journalist, presenter, editor, and author, Elle is a passionate advocate for youth policymaking, AI ethics, and interdisciplinary approaches. Elle has been recognised for her reporting on emerging technologies and their social impact, earning accolades such as a funded place on the Sustainable Finance for Journalists programme at the University of Oxford and the prestigious John Schofield Fellowship with a mentor from BBC World News, where she is undergoing specialised training in broadcast media.

With a humanities and social sciences background, she offers a unique perspective that encourages readers to explore the intersection of arts, technology, policy, and society.

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