This clever and energetic piece about what happens if that voice in your head explains with authority and well referenced arguments that you are worthless is in equal measures funny and uncomfortable to watch. 

Me & Mr C by Gary Kitching (courtesy Topher McGrillis ) (1)
Me &Mr C by Gary Kitching. Courtesy of Topher McGrillis. 

Created by and starring Gary Kitching, it is a well balanced piece that has plenty to keep the audience entertained and involved from beginning to end but also shows how our thoughts can so quickly lead to self-doubt and uncertainty which can then lead to mental health issues.

The show is based on improvisation, so if you go and see it tonight then it is highly likely that what you see is completely different to last night’s performance – which is clever and keeps the show feeling fresh.

In the first section, the audience are made to feel relaxed and part of the show – thanks to the laid back nature of Kitching’s performance. Asking some basic questions, which the audience gradually realises is to help build the show, there is plenty to make you laugh – but it feels as though it goes on too long before getting the main part of the performance.

It is a simple performance that is filled with moments that warm the heart. But there are also occasions that feel slightly uncomfortable to watch and take part in. One such example is Kitching asking the audience to heckle during his comedy performances, encouraging them to throw insults on a gradually more personal basis – which is a clever move to show how dispirited and rejected his character is beginning to feel and adds poignancy to the performance.

Although thoughtful, the production is also subtle but it has a lot to say about mental health issues and how easy it can be for all of us to get trapped in our own minds as well as blurring the lines between fantasy and reality.

It has intensity and energy about it but the pace is slightly slow in places as it is easy to get distracted by an audience member’s comment that means the show can go off focus in places.

The build up to the final scenes are well performed and chilling to witness when Mr C (a ventriloquist’s doll – representing Kitching’s voice in his head) tells him when he reaches his lowest point to “shoot himself in the head” along with a number of insults means the audience’s focus and attention on the seriousness of what has been happening is gained in a split second.

Overall, it is a powerful piece of drama that is filled with humour and intensity that gradually grabs the audience’s attention and holds it to the very end.

Me and Mr C is on at the Ovalhouse Theatre until the 21st November. to buy tickets visit: http://www.ovalhouse.com/whatson/detail/me-and-mr-c . 

 

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