A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

Batman (Naomi’s Death Show)

Batman (Naomi’s Death Show)
04 March 2023
Vault Festival
5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Naomi Westerman presents Batman (Naomi’s Death Show) as a choose-your-own-adventure style show. As patrons enter the venue, we are welcomed with a small goodie bag on our seats. Within, there are chocolate biscuits, a bingo card, a pencil, a tea light candle, and a squeaker. There is also a two-sided paper on the seat, one side red, one side orange.

Upon start of the show, it is revealed what all these items are for. We start off with the bingo card, which has a selection of four random images on it. Naomi explains that the images are representations of ways she may have nearly died, and proceeds to draw bingo balls to call the different settings. Once one is drawn, the audience gets to guess whether this is indeed a near-death experience of the host or not. Along with two other audience members, I filled up my bingo card quickly, and was rewarded with a small bag of shark gummies. Naomi has brought her emotional support shark, so this is very apt, and delicious!

After a few other fun games and anecdotes, we get to the meat of the story, and the ways we can shape it. We can use the squeakers to call a game intermission if things get too heavy, and use the two-sided paper to decide between two different options of how the story gets told and shaped.

Naomi speaks of the death of her mother, and her confrontation of the man she thinks is responsible. Things get heavy fast, so a few breaks are called, after which we decide what parts of the story we want to hear.

It is an intense experience, cathartic in a very unexpected way. Having lost my own mother five years ago, I wasn’t sure how raw this would feel for me, grief is a very fickle thing that tends to surprise you at inopportune moments.

Hearing of Naomi Westerman’s experiences with family issues and shaping her own grief felt raw, but also comforting. We were even given an opportunity to light a candle for a lost loved one at one point, which was a very sensitive and emotional addition to the show.

A wonderful experience full of intense emotions, unexpected revelations, and the understanding that we all grieve in different ways, that there is no one-size-fits-all to grief, and that that’s perfectly fine, as we’re the only person who gets to decide what is right for us!

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