Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn & Theatre Works
19 March 2015
|Tim Grayburn & Bryony Kimmings|
While, I'm writing about Hannah Gadsby's mis-diagnosis of depression, it's impossible not to talk about Tim Grayburn's diagnosis of clinical depression and the astonishing Fake It 'Til You Make It that finishes at Theatre Works on Sunday.
It's been difficult to get a seat for this one because the consistent raves about its Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth seasons have been consistent raves.
So I'm not writing a review of the production. Please read all the others, starting with Jane Howard's in The Guardian.
Melbourne's indie arts scene fell in love with Kimmings last year when she brought us Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model (my favourite show of 2014) and Sex Idiot (my favourite audience participation of any show).
In her performance art, she shares her life and experiences to make connections with people who have had similar experiences. You don't see one of her shows and leave thinking about Bryony, you leave thinking about yourself. This is what makes her work so powerful.
She made Fake It 'Til You Make It with her partner Tim Grayburn. He's wasn't a performance artist or any type of performer but quit his job in marketing to make this show with Bryony, which premiered at the Perth Fringe earlier this year.
It's about their falling in soppy get-a-room love, her finding out about his illness, what they did next, and how they continue to deal with being in love and everything that goes with it.
I didn't write about the show because I didn't know where to start. I knew/know too many people with diagnosed and undiagnosed depression who suicided or have thought of suiciding.
I also know people who found the help they needed and have helped others.
I've also seen a lot of work about depression. Why this one should be compulsory is because it makes the connection between this illness – this common and treatable illness – and how it makes the person think about death.
Like a symptom of the common cold is a cough, a symptom of clinical depression is thoughts of death. It's what this illness does to brains and, like a cough, it can be treated.
I have a friend who when he was really sick, made sure that his partner had the keys to the box where his medication was locked away. This person loved their life and knew that their illness made them think about death. He found a way to create time when those thoughts came; time that made acting on those thoughts very difficult and enough time to deal with the symptoms.
If Fake It 'Til You Make It can make even one person make the connection between depression and thoughts of death, between illness and symptom, maybe they will also get the time they need.
It finishes on Sunday and there are still tickets available, especially for Saturday.