Fake It 'Til You Make It by Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn. This show about clinical depression in men packed an emotion wallop. Kimmings and Grayburn are a real-life couple who are expecting their first child. Several years into their relationship, Kimmings discovered that Grayburn was on medication for clinical depression. Grayburn hadn't shared this crucial fact with her because he feared it would made him seem less of a man. The couple struggled with the issue, weaning Tim off his medication, living together through a break-down, and coming to terms with what it means to their relationship. A performance artist, Kimmings' reaction was to make a show about the issue, and she persuaded Grayburn to quit his job as a media exec and go on the road with her. His conditions: He wouldn't look "you lot" (meaning the audience) in the eye; he wanted to play the guitar in the show; and he had to look like a real man. Throughout the show, which was alternately poignant and funny, Tim wore hats and miscellany on his head to maintain his emotional distance. When he finally revealed himself fully to the audience, I could feel how much it took for him to do so. At this point in the show, the couple described the symptoms of depression. Tim commented that he thought they could just list the symptoms but that Bryony insisted they make it a dance. (Her look to the audience said "Duh" loud and clear.) The couple's ability to not only cope with Tim's depression but to joke about their different approaches to life left no doubt in my mind about the strength of their partnership. When they built a house onstage to the tune of The Carpenters' "Close to You," I totally lost it. The show was brave and personal and creative and touched an emotional chord. And I loved the fact that the couple stand outside the theater to greet audience members as they are leaving, many of whom share their own stories with the pair. To watch a clip from the show, click here. My score: 4.5; Wendi's score: 2.5
|Sian Reese-Williams and Abdul Salis from "Lungs"|
|Molly Vevers from "Ross & Rachel"|
|Cast members from "Sunset Five"|
|Nicola Daley and Ramesh Meyyappan in "Butterfly"|
EdFringe is the theatrical equivalent of a smorgasbord and more than a little addictive. And crazy as it might sound, now that I've caught up on my sleep, I'm thinking about next year...