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THE D & ME: AN INTIMATE CABERNET @ Girls School gets 9.5/10


The D & Me: An Intimate Cabarnet @ Girls School

Thursdsay, February 13, 2020

9.5/10

The most fabulous sad clown you ever will see, Sven Ironside is resplendent in full clown face, fierce but paired with a puff sleeved blouse, fancy pants and Docs. It’s an apt first impression that is representative of the show itself. Laying himself bare before you as a hot mess, it is far more than that, and so much more. The ‘D’ stands for ‘Depression’, and it is vital viewing for anyone who has experienced mental health issues in any way.

The show begins with a disclaimer that it’s not about glamorisation or trivialisation of mental health issues, it is just one human’s personal experience and, hoo boy, is it laid bare in the most beautifully raw of ways that are somehow supremely entertaining and cathartic concurrently. This is FRINGE WORLD at its finest – real issues facing people who need some way to process it through art.

Despite the apparently heavy subject matter, it is nonetheless delightful to see this consummate performer fall apart before your eyes then put himself back again like a magic trick for the broken soul. It is the best way to rejoice in our collective mental health issues, recognised or otherwise, and even provides a moment to shout it all out in an evangelical church of healing in the finale.

Utilising song, dance, ukulele, and burlesque, the multimedia is fast-coming, abundant, and as frenetic as the performance and subject matter itself. The audience is ultimately moved, be it to participate, dance, singalong or shout throughout. This is the ultimate safe space, navigated by you loveable host, the most relatable navigator of your collective experiences.

Hilarious, bellyaching times with the audience abounds but it is not at all uncomfortable for anyone and ultimately an intimate and consensual experience for all. It is supportive and brutal at times, but somehow manages to be kind and lovely. The audience leaves feeling united.

The D & Me is cheeky, quirky and fabulous as fuck. Featuring some fantastic face acting and physical performance, Ironside is not just a promising talent. He has arrived and we all need to pay more attention.

NATALIE GILES

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