This tiny, brave, powerful fringe production is staged so intimately you feel as though you’re reclining on someone’s couch space and are now part of the support group for his therapy. And really you are. The audience is artfully engaged, sensitively drawn in as we are given lines and deliver our own. We provide support and props; as a sensitive, heart-wrenching yet joyful interplay between the lone unnamed protagonist and us, his audience, his inexperienced cast, beautifully develops in structured fluidity.
Written so cleverly by Duncan Macmillan and first staged at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to rapturous acclaim a couple of years ago, Every Brilliant Thing resettles in localised fashion here in KL; easing into the dark difficult topics of suicide and depression with humour and wit yet revealing a pathos seldom seen in Malaysian theatre. Deftly directed by Christopher Ling with original music by Shaun Chen playing a meaningful supporting role; this one-man show is executed and improvised with whimsy and deft imagination by Qahar Aqilah.
The play opens with our central character aged 7. His mother is in hospital having “done something stupid”. She finds it hard to be happy. He starts a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything worth living for. He leaves it on her pillow. He knows she’s read it because she’s corrected his spelling. This banal yet profound list takes on a life of its own—growing over the years, dropping out of his life, reviving when needed; as he becomes a moody teenager, falls in love, discovers difficult truths, fails to recognise his own depression.
Hailed as “one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see about depression”; this wonderfully spirited production by theatrethreesixty doesn’t purport to be a solution to the problem. It does however keep an important conversation going with unflinching honesty. Moving us to tears as we confront complex realities; embracing every brilliant life-affirming thing even as we laugh.
‘Every Brilliant Thing’ continues from November 17 to November 20 at Tommy Le Baker.
Purchase tickets here.
Dates and times: November 17 – 19 at 8.30pm and November 20 at 3pm
Venue: Tommy Le Baker, A-1-5 Viva Residency, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 51200 KL
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