Every Brilliant Thing

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Roundabout@Summerhall, Edinburgh

Co-written by Duncan McMillan and Jonny Donahoe, Every Brilliant Thing is a lively, witty, interactive performance – about depression.

Jonny Donahoe, who performs the one-man show, is an engaging actor; he has an innate charm that ensures the audience complies happily with his requests.

This is a poignant and funny play, taking us through the protagonist’s experiences of living with a suicidal mother, when he’s seven and his dad tells him, “Mum’s done something stupid,” to the dark realities of adult life and his attempts to make this palatable by writing a list of everything that’s good. Members of the audience are called upon to provide props, read aloud items from the list, as well as to play supporting roles (his dad, his counsellor, his university sweetheart). I don’t know if all audiences would respond with such alacrity as one at the Edinburgh Fringe (not a shy or reluctant participant among us!) but it’s an effective method of drawing us in; of making us want everything to turn out well.

This really is a delightful production: superbly acted in a knockout space. Go see it if you can.

4.6 stars

Susan Singfield


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