For Their Own Good: Part of SICK! Festival

Published On March 3, 2014 | By Celia Mullins | Theatre & Arts Reviews & Previews

Friday 28th March 2014
Studio Theatre at Brighton Dome

As part of SICK! Festival, Fringe First Award Winner ‘For Your Own Good’ comes to the Studio Theatre at Brighton Dome.
The performance tackles the pitfalls of scoring highly in the evolutionary charts, as it reflects on the way we kill animals, and ask if the complex relationship we have with them can inform us about the ways in which we deal with our own demise and attitudes to death.

The show features two knacker-men, played by Jake Oldershaw and Jack Trow. The pair’s mortality is brought sharply and abruptly into focus as they dispatch the sick, lame and old and go through the motions of preparing, killing and stripping the horses.

A menagerie of exquisitely crafted props and puppets are featured, including a large puppet horse, expertly manipulated by the two performers, as well as internally lit cardboard houses, which scatter the performance space and whose lights are extinguished as we learn of terminal illnesses and suicide. This visual show is inspired by interviews and documentary film footage of veterinary surgeries, farmers, abattoirs, hospitals and medical staff.

The show is a Untied Artists Production, written by Arzhang Pezhman and directed by Steve Johnstone. The company was formed in 2007 by experienced producer and manager Jo Carr, as well as Jake Oldershaw, who also takes to the stage as one of the knacker-men. Untied Artists was formed in recognition of a continuing trend toward collaborative art making, and multi- disciplinary performance. Work is characterised by intimacy, photographic imagery, music and heartfelt storytelling. Jake Oldershaw has collaborated and devised work with artists such as Stans Cafe, Reckless Sleepers, Kaos theatre and Wendy Houston. He has been praised for his intimate performances and an interest in the relationships between artists and their audience.

‘For Your Own Good’ has been praised as a clever, sensitive, darkly comic and saddening performance, with the props being hailed as a wonder in their own right, and with particular credit going to the show’s “Rare, Energy and Power”.  ‘For Your Own Good‘ invites us to look at the human take on death and bereavement. It examines how it’s become removed from us in the process, and asks if we should reclaim it.

For more of SICK! Festival, go to

About The Writer

I grew up in Cambridge but after studying History at Sussex University, I couldn't bring myself to leave Brighton! As well as writing for We Love Brighton I study Journalism and hope to one day make it as a features writer. Brighton is the perfect place to get inspired!