Much Ado About Dying – Director Simon Chambers

MUCH ADO ABOUT DYING begins when the filmmaker Simon Chambers receives a call from his elderly gay uncle, David Newlyn Gale, – “I think I may be dying!” – Simon takes it as a summons. As it turns out, eccentric Uncle  David, a retired actor living alone in a cluttered, mouse-infested London house, is being dramatic, sort of: For the next five years, Chambers both cares for and documents David, through all his performative exuberance (constantly acting out passages of King Lear) and anarchic charisma (swinging from boisterous humor to short temper), as various people (including a sexy young hustler) possibly take advantage of him. As their lives become encumbered by hospital visits, a house fire, and Britain’s inadequate eldercare system, the younger man (also single and queer) reflects with aching honesty on what may await him in the years to come, in this moving yet hilarious film. Director Simon Chambers for a conversation on the reasons he didn’t think he had a film about his uncle until he realized that he did, the push and pull that was his own life in service to David, saving him from himself and the pure joy that made being with David brought until the very end.


Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

For more go to: Much Ado About Dying at

Much Ado About Dying opens in NYC at Film Forum on March 15.

Winner of Best Directed Film at International Documentary Festival Amsterdam 
Winner: Best Documentary at Merlinka International Queer Film Festival (Serbia)
Winner: Audience Award for Best Film at North East International Film Festival 
Winner: Best Film at Jakarta Independent Film Festival Winner : Best Film at Milton Keynes International Film Festival


Director Simon Chambers and producer David Rane will appear in person at the Monica Film Center for select opening weekend screenings of  MUCH ADO ABOUT DYING beginning Friday, March 22. 

About the filmmaker – Director, writer, producer Simon Chambers taught disadvantaged teenagers in London for 14 years before turning his hand to films. In 2006, with his first feature ‘Every Good Marriage Begins With Tears’, he realised that he had a knack for making the kind of documentaries that people want to watch. ‘Every Good Marriage’ was shown on BBC Storyville, and on TV in around 30 countries. In 2009 he completed feature length documentary ‘Cowboys in India’ which has also won several prizes and has shown on TV In 2010 he moved to New Delhi where he taught at an Islamic university. In 2015 he moved back to London to become the carer for his uncle, David Newlyn Gale, a retired gay actor who was living in squalor and needed support. When Uncle David died in 2020 Simon decided to make a film from the footage they had shot together. 


86% on RottenTomatoes

“With Much Ado About Dying, Mr. Chambers has given us a sensitive portrait of a man playing his final part — which is, really, a little bit Lear but mostly David Gale. It’s a sui generis performance.” – Zachary Barnes, Wall Street Journal

“Joyous clarity…bittersweet empathy… in this achingly funny-sad film.” -Variety

“In its refreshingly frank look at the end of life, Much Ado About Dying becomes a thought-provoking study of what it means to live.” -Screen Daily

“The best kind of documentary. It will make you laugh and cry. It will also make you pause for thought.” -BackSeat Mafia

“One of the biggest hits emerging at IDFA…simultaneously touching, endearing and often riotously funny.” – Deadline

“Chambers’ family-filming-family masterpiece is a tender and often funny chronicle of a dying man who secretes his brilliant charisma…” -The Film Verdict

“[A] piercingly personal documentary…” – Guy Lodge, Variety