Bryony Kimming’s show’s are always topical. I don’t mean Greece or Syria topical – but that she chooses issues that effect almost every person, but are rarely spoken about in the mainstream media. The last two show’s of her’s I have been to, at least half the audience has left the theatre weeping hopeful tears. Her shows are always personal to her, but through her truth, it becomes personal to many.
She doesn’t need extravagant sets, or costume to make her shows spectacular. She does it by being herself, and telling stories of real people, and real issues, and that quality is what makes ‘Fake it ’til you Make it’ such a joy – or perhaps, strange hopeful sadness would be more appropriate.
Bryony, and her Fiance Tim stand together or stage, dancing in their underwear and singing a song with bags on their heads. Anyone who has seen a Bryony Kimming’s show before is unsurprised. The set, as I mentioned before, is minimal, only 2 microphone stand’s to start with.
It is Tim’s story that they are telling. It doesn’t have a happy ending, but it doesn’t have a sad one. In fact, it doesn’t really have an ending at all, because Tim is still on this journey, and to give it one would take away from the fact that depression often is a life-long recurring illness. It will have many endings, and many beginnings.
Tim works in advertising normally, and has taken a year off work to make this show. He has very little stage craft. He is a slightly awkward dancer, and doesn’t like looking at the audience. But. It is his story, and frankly, his inexperience and obvious nervous energy only make him more endearing. Although told through silly dance’s and song’s the truth in the words being said is never lost. It is a love story, and the love shown between the two on stage stops the show from falling into the realms of “depressing show about depression” and instead makes it hopeful, makes it real, and most importantly make’s it relatable.
The show wasn’t made to be a great night out at the theatre after all. It was made to raise awareness of male-depression, and try to break down some of those everlasting taboo’s of mental health being a women’s sickness, and any man who has it as being less “manly.”
Whether or not it achieve’s this I cannot really say, never having bought into the taboo myself, I do not know if this show will change opinion. But what it does do, and what it will carry on doing is telling people; man, woman, child, and everyone else; that it is ok to be depressed. It does not make you weaker. It is ok to ask for help. It does not make you failure. It is ok to have relapses. It does not mean it will last forever.
With one in three people experiencing mental health problems (and those are only the one’s they count!) I think those messages need to be shouted from the rooftops, because if even 1 person goes to the doctor after seeing this show, it could save their life.
Fake It Till You Make It is on at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.If you aren’t heading that way, keep checking back HERE for tour dates.