Edinburgh Fringe Review: Every Brilliant Thing

What did Youth Board member Anna make of the worldwide smash-hit Every Brilliant Thing?

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Every Brilliant Thing is an interactive play about “depression and the lengths we go to for those we love”. This play, performed by Jonny Donahoe, was able to make me laugh and cry in a matter of minutes, every word pulling at my heart strings. This play will definitely make you want to call up your loved ones, at the end, and tell them how much you love them.

The play tells you the story of a man looking back to when he was seven, in which he wrote down a list of ‘Every Brilliant Thing’ he could think of, to help him deal with his mother’s depression and attempt at suicide. I understand that you may question, after that explanation, why I found the play so funny. I think it was because it was such a perfect balance of joy and sorrow. There were moments where you would feel so much sympathy towards him, but other times, mainly where he was talking about the list of brilliant things, that you couldn’t help but laugh. My favourite ‘Brilliant Thing’ had to be Number 26: peeing in the sea and nobody knows.

Even though the list doesn’t change what’s going on with him, it still helps him, and the audience, have those moments where we can take a breather from this deep subject, to think about his happy thoughts and memories. I loved that the play could switch so easily from happy times to absolutely heart wrenching moments and really give an insight into depression and mental health issues.

Every Brilliant Thing is a incredible play that brings awareness of depression and mental health issues, whilst still being one of the funniest plays I have seen.