Past screening

Much Ado About Dying

Directed by: Simon Chambers
Runtime: 1h 25min Certificate: 15
Watch trailer


Directed by: Simon Chambers
Runtime: 1h 25min Certificate: 15
Topics: Personal Stories
Last Screened: Thu 16th May 2024

It begins with a voicemail: ‘I think I may be dying’.

When filmmaker Simon Chambers cuts short a shoot in India to tend to his dying uncle, he has no idea of the journey they’re about to embark on together.

Chambers’ octogenarian uncle, long-retired actor David Newlyn Gale, isn’t quite at death’s door. Nevertheless, his health has deteriorated in recent years. He lives in an unsuitable flat, sustaining himself on cans of soup, keeping himself warm with a small army of electric heaters and battling a mice infestation with toothpaste. It soon becomes clear that his greatest sources of nourishment are literature and theatre. And he sees in his nephew, who is also gay, a like-minded creative soul. Between the Shakespearean monologues, Much Ado About Dying presents an intimate, occasionally funny and ultimately moving portrait of a solitary life and a quietly critical assessment of the inadequate resources available in the UK for a rapidly ageing population.


"A clear-eyed and poignant portrait of ageing, caregiving and dying."

Tom Dawson

Total Film

"I can think of few documentaries that are more honest, self-scrutinising and revelatory about ageing, familial love and its limits."

Leslie Felperin

The Guardian