Jon Brittain has another success on his hands. This time, he teams up with composer and pianist Matthew Floyd Jones and they endow a story of depression with care and hope. Music, glitter and lashings of enthusiasm make this mental health show stand out from similarly themed shows at this year’s Fringe.
Sally is happy – she lives for music. Finding new artists, listening to her favourite ones and going to gigs are her favourite things in the world. Her life is ticking along brilliantly until suddenly, in the lead up to her A-levels when her mum is away for work, things aren’t ok at all. She’s felt like this before, but had been able to cover it up. This time, that doesn’t work. Luckily she has people who care about her who help her get on track to recovery, but it’s a disease she has to learn to live with.
Sally’s journey unfolds through music and narration, most of with has an unwavering undertone of joy. But when that disappears, the juxtaposition between that Sally’s despair is all the more powerful.
The performances are strong; Madeleine MacMahon’s Sally dominates the show with charm and charisma. She’s ably supported by the other performers, and the show’s energy fills the large venue.
There’s been a lot of work focusing on mental health this year, but this one excels its focus on destigmatisation and positivity – depression is terrible, but its not your fault. You can overcome it and people want you to win.
A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) runs through 28 August.
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