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Seventy-Eight Thank Yous | James Pretlove | In Centre
17 August.3:30 am-5:00 pm
An event every day that begins at 3:30 am, repeating until 20 August, 2023
Fringe Shows: 16th to Sunday 20th August inclusive at 3.30pm
Seventy-Eight Thank Yous tells the story of an ordinary life and an extraordinary death. When Val Pretlove committed suicide at the age of 78 in 2018, her son James’s shock and anguish lessened as a series of thank yous came to his mind. It wasn’t long before he had one for each year of her life. He initially crafted them into a memoir and when he struggled to get that published, he sought guidance from a psychic. She told him to stop hiding behind his computer screen and start sharing his work in-person instead.
Seventy-Eight Thank Yous is a bittersweet piece which mixes humour and depth to show how Pretlove’s grief was transformed through gratitude. Sharing his story has enabled Pretlove’s transformation to go further than he could have believed. He says, “I have been amazed to hear how many people’s lives are touched either by someone else’s suicide, or by thinking about their own. There are way too few places where this subject can be freely discussed without shame, judgement or threats of intervention and one of my thank yous to Mum is that I now get to engage in such conversations.”
Seventy-Eight Thank Yous opens up the subject of late life suicide in a compassionate, love-filled way. And because the show meets this charged topic head-on, the show’s last thirty minutes is given over for the audience to ask questions or share experiences of their own.
Praise for Seventy-Eight Thank Yous
“Intimate, uplifting, funny and sad. A rollercoaster ride of a single human experience with universal themes.” — Dorota Owen, London
“Excellent. I cried and laughed continuously through out the show. James is like a confident boat captain. He will take you with him on a journey of gratitude with his strong presence and then fill up the cup of your heart with tenderness.” — Isabella, Findhorn
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About James Pretlove
James Pretlove is a performer, writer and teacher of gender-role-free Scottish country dancing who first came to prominence in the 1990s when he co-created and edited the cult satirical fashion magazine, BLOW. While initially deeply reluctant to follow the guidance to stop hiding behind his laptop, Pretlove has since shared his and his mother’s story all over the country from London’s St Stephen Walbrook—original home of the Samaritans—via the Oxford Storytelling Festival to the Universal Hall in Findhorn