Juliette Burton: 'Comedy saved my life when I was a teen'

This article is from 2018

Juliette Burton: 'Comedy saved my life when I was a teen'

c. Steve Ullathorne

Juliette Burton is accentuating the positive for a limited run of her sell-out 2017 show at the Fringe this year

The current political climate is a tough one with self-interest and blinkered thinking seeming to be the order of the day. But Juliette Burton's response is to counteract the negativity with kindness as outlined in her show Butterfly Effect, where a small act or event can have a ripple effect. 'Last year I was feeling utterly powerless,' Burton elucidates. 'Not only over lots of the worldwide political and social upheaval, but also over a lot of horrid things happening in my own life. I was told by my therapist to "be kind to yourself" and since I don't know how to do that, I thought I'd be kind to other people instead.'

Anyone who has seen one of Burton's shows before will be aware of her struggles with mental ill health: at just 17 she was sectioned. 'Comedy saved my life when I was a teen. When I was the most ill, starving myself or suicidal, I'd watch as much comedy as I could to try to find a reason to live. To find the laughter. Nowadays it's no different.'

As for the future, understandably Burton would like to see us all looking out for each other. 'One day I'd love to see us live in a utopia of empathy and holistic approach to mental health, where it's a natural part of a daily dialogue and even takes precedence over physical health in our healthcare. Without mental wellbeing everything is harder.'

But in the short term she has a desire that's a bit closer to home. 'I need to sell out at the Fringe again! I've sold out the last three years in a row and I've got OCD: it's important for my love of repetition that I keep it up this year,' she laughs. You know what you need to do people …

Juliette Burton: Butterfly Effect is at Gilded Balloon Teviot, 1–15 August.

Juliette Burton: Butterfly Effect

Lee Martin for Gag Reflex in association with ART Award-winning comedian Juliette Burton returns for a limited run of her 2017 sell-out show exploring the power of kindness. When most of us find it hard being kind to ourselves, let alone others, is being nice outdated? Or can kindness change the world? Join Juliette for…