Fake it ’til You Make It***** (Traverse Theatre 2, Edinburgh)

Posted: August 24, 2015 in Theatre


Theatre can be bewilderingly complex, but, every so often, something like this apparently simple little show can come along and blow you completely away. It undervalues the work of Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn to call their piece simple, but it is a tribute to them to say that the sum total of their undoubted efforts is that they make it seem so – just a small studio space, a few funny hats and other props and two people talking to and about each other and themselves. Bryony, a performance artist and Tim, an advertising agency account manager, meet, begin a relationship and, six months later, Tim reveals that he suffers from severe clinical depression. There is not much funny about a condition that contributes to suicide having become the leading cause of death for men in the UK under 40, but a lightness of touch, embellished by the sweetest hints of romance, prevails throughout. Much is made of Grayburn’s lack of stage a technique, a conceit that grows thin as the show progresses, but everything else is a sincere, humorous and natural account of coming to terms with mental illness, talking about it, and sharing day-to-day problems such as managing medication. The show is a triumph, filled with warmth and positivity. Oh and Bryony is heavily pregnant, another reason to congratulate this talented pair..

Performance date: 16 August 2015

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