Depression shines in theatrethreesixty’s Every Brilliant Thing – and it’s not all doom and gloom.
In fact, the one man show has many humourous moments, largely due to the talented actor Qahar Aqilah. The star of the show plays multiple roles in the production that employs unconventional theatrical devices-and does it credibly.
Written by British playwright Duncan Macmillan, Every Brilliant Thing revolves around the sharing of a tale of depression, as depicted by a son at age 7, when his mother goes into hospital after doing “something stupid.”
That’s when he starts a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Ice cream makes an appearance on the list. So does Milo and biscuits, things with stripes, the alphabet and also falling in love, as the boy becomes a teenager and an adult.
Directed by theatrethreesixty’s artistic director Chris Ling, the play that opened theatrethreesixty’s 2017 Season: Right Now, delves into the complexity of depression on many levels. No surprises that the award winning play gives the audience many things to think about, and in its own, subtle, funny way makes one think about their own encounters with depression.
While audience interaction in plays is to be expected, Every Brilliant Thing kicks this up a notch. The members of the audience who were happy to be a part of the show played an important role in the production at the Blackbox, Tommy Le Baker. Some were given printed cards with numbered items, a part of the list of wonderful things in life, which they would read out when the actor asked them to. A few were asked to play a character in the narrator/actor’s life including his father, the love of his life Sam and his high school counsellor. This reviewer was particularly impressed by the credible efforts of “Sam” on 5 February, who sportingly went down on one knee to propose marriage to the protagonist.
While it may not be the funniest play ever presented on stage, Every Brilliant Thing certainly addresses pertinent issues of depression in a light-hearted manner. Intimate, thought provoking and emotional at times, Every Brilliant Thing was a well-spent afternoon that got this writer thinking about creating a list of things to be happy and grateful for.
- Hot coffee on a rainy day.