Tired but happy. It’s been a long day and am on a (late) train back to London from Edinburgh. That today was a wonderful experience.
Standing outside the venue was the writer, Lucy Burke, with a handful of flyers ready to hand out to the mass of humanity milling outside the many venues at the Edinburgh Fringe. I had a very good and convivial conversation with Lucy. Lucy is very personable and you can sense the enthusiasm within her for this project, called WEIRD, focusing on her own personal struggles with OCD.
The show started at 1.45 in a room no bigger than my living room. The attendance was a little bit smaller than I expected, but it made for an intimate atmosphere. The performer had changed from London. The marvellous Amy Doyle is taking a break, understandably from WEIRD as the show runs for a month at the Fringe. In her place was the equally skilled and equally top class Charlotte Whitaker. In fact if I closed my eyes, I could have sworn Amy was speaking. Though both are from Yorkshire, they perfect the Bolton accent extremely well.
Unfortunately though, a member of the audience left halfway through, and when the performance finished, she was visibly distressed. I’m not sure what it was that triggered her distress, but this world of mental illness can get to us all.
Performance wise? Strong and confident, and you can pick out the sad moments, especially at the end, when the character loses her best friend in a car accident. The humour is still there, raw and undiluted, just as it should be.
Then it was back to the cavernous Edinburgh Waverley station. It is positively enormous and overflowing with people. Whether south of the border or north of the border, the train services are just the same. Return journey late, by only a few minutes though.
I just had that warm glow today that I’ve seen WEIRD in a different setting. Just that change, a different environment and a great setting. I would like to see WEIRD play to vast audiences, because the team that produce it are exceptionally capable of taking it onto bigger stages. It deals with mental illness with honesty, feeling and depth. And you can’t go too far wrong with honesty in this world. Lucy Burke also spoke of WEIRD going on tour in certain parts of England. I would like to bring along some of my colleagues in the mental health volunteering field. They would love it, and they would love the people that produce it.
Surprisingly on three hours sleep, I don’t feel too bad, but I will be crashing into my pit later on tonight. It’s the weekend after all.
WEIRD – A play about OCD – written by Lucy Burke, produced by Peter Taylor. Starring Amy Doyle or Charlotte Whitaker as Yasmin and a host of other characters.
Take my advice. Go and watch it. It’s fab.