Sunday, 20 November 2016

Every Brilliant Thing

The first time I heard where this show was being staged, I was like, "THERE?! Really?!" 😕Then I had to look up where the space was. 

I hadn't decided to go until that very morning when I just bought a ticket online for the final performance of the run. I was glad that I went a little early and found out that not only did Tommy le Baker moved (not far) from its previous location, but the theatre company theatrethreesixty moved next to it. Okay then. 
You're 7 years old. Mum's in hospital. Dad says that she's "done something stupid." She finds it hard to be happy. You start a list of everything that's brilliant about the world. Everything worth living for. You leave it on her pillow. You know she's read it because she's corrected your spelling.

Hailed by British newspaper The Guardian as "one of the funniest plays you'll ever see about depression", be literally a part of an interactive theatrical happening that - with your help - unfolds as both heart-wrenching and hilarious. Duncan Macmillan's one man show EVERY BRILLIANT THING premieres in Malaysia starring Qahar Aqilah and is directed by theatrethreesixty's artistic director Christopher Ling.
You know it's gonna be an interesting afternoon when you see the performer (Qahar Aqilah) out mingling with the audience, because he wanted to gauge us due to the audience participation nature of the show. When I got asked by Qahar (I was kinda avoiding him to that point), I just flat out said that I would be uncomfortable if I were to get picked during the show, which I learnt the hard way over the years. He was also giving certain people cards to read during the performance - when he calls out a number, who ever has that card has to read it out loud. And also props, as I found out later during the show. 

It might be called a one-man show, but audience members get roped in to play various characters as he narrates his life with depression and his coping mechanism of making a list of "every brilliant thing in the world" for his mum (at first). You know you're doing a dang good job when people start crying as the show went along. Conveniently enough, some of my fellow audience members are also theatre practitioners, so it was less awkward than a total pleb. 

Having seen this now, I totally understand why the need for a more intimate space: A show of this nature a bit hard to pull off in a more conventional proscenium space.