Seventy-Eight Thank Yous

Spoken Word (storytelling, true-life)

  • Arthur Conan Doyle Centre - The Helen Duncan Room
  • 15:30
  • Aug 20
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Suitability: 18+ (Restriction)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: James Pretlove
  • Warnings and additional info: Contains distressing or potentially triggering themes, including the theme of suicide throughout.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


Astonished when my cheerful and dynamic mother committed suicide in 2018, I felt a numbed anguish. When the thank yous started dropping in, everything began to change. In time I came to respect her decision, realising the many gifts there were not only in Mum’s life but in her death too. With both depth and lightness, this piece joins new conversations arising about suicide and has been appreciated all over the UK from St Stephen Walbrook in the City of London, birthplace of the Samaritans, via the Oxford Storytelling Festival, to the Universal Hall in Findhorn.

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General venue access

  • Accessible entry: Space is located on the first floor. There are 3 steps in the main foyer then 20+ up a wide l shaped staircase to get to into the space.
  • Wheelchair access type: Not fully wheelchair accessible

  • Stairs: 20+
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Carol Dibnah 110 days ago

Seventy - Eight Thank Yous, is an incredibly moving show. James has a gift with language and has wonderfully crafted this work to simultaneously make you laugh and cry. It covers the most emotional topic of coping with the suicide of his mum. James offers us insight as to how he managed to come to terms with his mum's death and shows us that through practising gratitude for the love and life of his mum he could find some peace. It is an unforgettable, mesmerising, and thought-provoking performance. James' story-telling skills and use of the spoken word are captivating. Unmissable! I would dearly love to see it again!

Robin Dirks 111 days ago

I visited the Fringe for the first time during this weekend. From all the shows I saw, “Seventy Eight Thank Yous” was by far my favorite. It was only a small audience, but I tell you this is a real gem of the festival. James’ story of his mom captivated me from the first to the last moment. It’s impossible NOT to relate to his story. It’s so personal and so well crafted. He will take you to the places of his childhood and as the story unfolds, you feel like you have grown up with his marvelous mom yourself. Not only that the story is well crafted, it carries profound wisdom of the interrelatedness of life, death and nature. As a German, I also found the story a touching glimpse into the graceful side of British culture - Thank you James for this piece of art!

Elly S 112 days ago

Seventy-Eight Thank Yous is an extraordinary piece, well told with clear thresholds, enormous pathos and lots of humour. I feel like I have met your mother and what a woman she is! Courageous, energetic, warm, fun and loving. It is a brave piece and it works. Congratulations. What a wise way to create deep healing for a traumatic event.

Sarah Gardiner 113 days ago

Seen today and wow! This is exactly the magic to be found at the Edinburgh Fringe, a rare beauty, for me, it warrants all 5 Stars.

An extraordinary and an unusual show. Maybe not for everyone, but nothing is. To me, the performance was gentle, understated and so beautifully crafted. Presented unpretentiously and very sensitively. Boldy this sometimes trixy topic was laid bare. The style was pared back with no technical support, this is a brave and brilliant one man show.

For one hour, it felt like the afternoon actually stopped. And I leaned in.

As a true story, covering topics including suicide, it was layered and laced with some sadness as well as much love and laugh out loud sweet humour, and perhaps most amazingly the story tells how grief turned to gratitude.

Beautifully performed, in a lovely bright space in the west end. It sounds strange to write this but I found it really helpful to hear the often taboo subject wonderfully unpacked, fearlessly covered, and I feel lighter and brighter when leaving.

Thoughtfully, if wished, in person support was offered at the venue, during or after the show, if the contents of the show mean you'd like some.

I felt in a safely held space and strangely, I loved it.
Go see it - if you feel to - while you can. Its like nothing else!

Chloe Greenwood 114 days ago

James is a great storyteller, and this funny, tender story of his mothers life, and death, and his journey of grief reveal what one often doesn't know about our friends bereavements, as grief can be so private. He shows how he found ways of expressing his grief through small, meaningful rituals and how being in nature held him very tenderly. It is good for us to soften the taboos around death and suicide and James wisdom and strength of character are inspiring. I strongly recommend this storytelling at the Arthur Conan Doyle centre August 17-20th.

Geraldine Mc 114 days ago

Thank you so much for sharing your heartbreaking, yet humorous story at the Fringe. Your performance was amazing! I’ve been to many shows at the Fringe this year, they’ve all been good, but have to say - you stole the Fringe! Your performance was outstanding and your beautiful, darling Mum, will be so proud of you.
I’ve encouraged everyone I’ve spoken with, to see Seventy - Eight Thank Yous, and pray there’s lots of “bums on seats”
I’m truly sorry for your loss, thanks again for your courage, and all that you’re doing for vulnerable people who are battling with mental health difficulties.
With love and light and an abundance of blessings. Geraldine

Maggie Y 115 days ago

Unmissable. Seventy EightThank Yous is an incredible piece of theatre which is both moving and thought provoking, funny, sad and also inspiring. James Pretlove shares this touching tribute to his mum, Val Pretlove who died due to suicide in 2018. Val was a mother, a lover, a wife, a nurse and …. a tour guide and over 60 minutes we are transported back to the time of flares, Bazooka Joe Bubble Gum and corduroy trousers. This is a story of love and loss but also joy and jumble sales.

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