Weird, Some Riot Theatre @ Theatre503

21st-22nd July @ Theatre503

1st-27th August @ Bunker Two – Pleasance Courtyard

Written by Lucy Burke

Directed by Peter Taylor

Performed by Amy Doyle

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WEIRD is Some Riot’s Theatre current production travelling up to the Edinburgh Fringe this summer. Prior to this, they have produced an array of work including Glitter Punch which was awarded the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Vault festival.

WEIRD is a production about one woman’s battle with mental health issues, primarily, OCD and depression.

This piece is timely.

Mental health is a hot topic at the moment.

More conversations are being had.

And it is a theme being thoroughly explored in the creative industry at present, with productions like Milly Thomas’ Dust now getting it’s transfer to Trafalgar Studios.

In WEIRD, a young girl called Yasmin has had to defer her final year of university due to her OCD and depression.

Amy Doyle brought youth and dashings of humour to a character who could have been unrelentlessly sad.

Lucy Burke’s writing veered more towards humour which was refreshing. It is all to easy to allow a piece like this, to wallow in it’s sadness but the humour of the script and versatility of Amy Doyle’s performance gave the audience the chance to explore fully the ins and outs of OCD sufferers whilst also being able to laugh at the sheer madness and oddness of the condition itself.

This is how the stigma of mental health needs to be broken. With productions like WEIRD examining the condition without taking themselves too seriously.

Amy Doyle’s clear transitions in physicality explored Yasmin’s interactions with friends and family. This was seamless and done without pantomime. I must admit, there were a few glitches when the tempo increased in conversations with Yasmin and her sister and the definition became slightly messy but this was an Edinburgh preview, so I’m sure it will be something that is worked out.

Lighting and sound transitions worked really well allowing us breathing space between each interlude of Yasmin’s present life.

For me, the ending didn’t work. There was not enough clarity in the ending and I was unsure as to what had actually just happened and it didn’t make a clear enough statement.

This was a well conceived and performed production exploring mental health in a humorous and refreshing way.

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