As the audience packed into the Red Lecture theatre, various items and negative thought cards are distributed among the audience. Looking onto the stage you are met with a small amount of set consisting of a few coloured blocks, a TV and a Nintendo. Using the gaming world as her setting, Amy embarks on a quest for better mental health, a quest to defeat ‘The Darkness’.
Performing completely alone, it could be difficult to keep an audience engaged for a full hour, however Conway cleverly introduces audience participation and interactive games to complement the truly impressive piece of writing at the core of the hour.
Conway is frank and honest as she tells truths about mental health, depression in particular. There is no trigger warning attached to the show, which can always be a worry when attending anything on the topic. Instead she stands alone on stage with a vulnerability that gives you, as an audience member, the feeling that you are not alone.
But the show isn’t doom and gloom. It is humorous with beats of seriousness delicately dotted throughout. The message is very clear: there is always someone out there who wants to listen, who is willing to listen and you are absolutely not selfish nor wasting their time. This performance is not only for those who have suffered from mental health issues, but instead is for everyone.
By no means is the set extravagant. Instead, the simple design leaves space for Conway’s stunning storytelling. If you are looking for some thought provoking theatre this year, Amy Conway’s Super Awesome World is your best bet.
Words: Rebecca Divine
Picture: Ruth O’Brien
Amy Conway’s Super Awesome World, Summerhall, Aug 2-27, 5:40pm