Byrony Kimmings & Tim Grayburn in Fake It Til You Make It
Adelaide Fringe, Royal Croquet Club, Victoria Square, the Black Box until March 15
Review by Honey B
Performance artist Bryony Kimmings is not afraid to shine a light on mental illness.In fact, you wish that the fierce glow that penetrates from this passionate performer would be enough to banish the debilitating disease of depression.Kimmings took up the fight when she discovered that her partner, Tim Grayburn, had clinical depression and acute panic attacks. A fact that he had kept well-hidden from her.So the fearless artist did a bit of research and discovered that 1 in 8 men suffers from depression and 1 in 5 men will experience anxiety in their lives, but it’s the advice that they are given that really made her angry.Men are told to “be a man’’, “don’t cry’’ or “fake it’’ and discussion about mental illness is still a taboo subject.Kimmings and Grayburn break that taboo wide open in this brave, raw, insightful and, at times, funny performance. Because this is a real-life couple tacking real problems head on.The fact that Grayburn is not an artist – he was actually an advertising agency account manager – makes the show all the more emotional.Kimmings tenderly leads her man through the show as they take us into their lives through a series of lounge-room audio recordings, musical numbers and dance pieces which are all peppered with unusual props.Some of those unique props include specially-made masks so that a nervous Grayburn doesn’t have to look at the audience – these are beautiful creations and add to the whole texture and mood of the show.It was an emotional journey that made you want to cheer and cry and there were certainly a few misty-eyed audience members at this performance.These are two vulnerable people sharing their story – a love story, a story of triumph over fears and one that has plenty of fight and heart.This is surely the most real show that you will see all Fringe.