Life Is No Laughing Matter (3 stars)

This article is from 2019

Life Is No Laughing Matter

credit: Tom Kennedy

Heartwarming exploration of the struggles and stigmas associated with depression

Based on writer Demi Nandhra's experiences with depression, Life Is No Laughing Matter is a personal exploration of the struggles and stigmas associated with this mental health issue. Demi opens the show with a series of 'I heard depression is...' sentences, to expose the common cultural and political misconceptions of the topic that she is about to dissect.

The show uses storytelling to fast pass the audience through various stages of the performer's life. Demi is open and honest with the audience from the start; there is no fourth wall here which seems apt given the personal nature of the show.

In bouts of abstract physical theatre, Demi humorously draws out her experiences. She climbs into a wearable bean bag and thrashes about the stage, personifying the emotional stages of depression. She recreates scenes with patronising doctors and at one point brings out her dog to demonstrate that getting a pet solves nothing.

Demi isolates seminal moments to great effect and the audience laugh and groan with recognition and sympathy. The show leans a little too heavy on the storytelling aspect and could benefit from more action. This aside, Life Is No Laughing Matter is creative and sensitive in its exploration of this universal feeling, resulting in an enjoyable and impactful hour.

Summerhall, until 18 Aug, 1pm, £10 (£8).

Life Is No Laughing Matter

  • 3 stars

Demi Nandhra 'Sometimes I think I have felt everything I'm ever gonna feel and from here on out, I'm not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I've already felt'. Life is No Laughing Matter's a performance about mental illness, suicide and radical cure attempts. Part personal narrative, part social rant…