Adam Strauss: The Mushroom Cure
Erudite and affecting script with a note-perfect rendition
This article is from 2013.
Adam Strauss offers up a confessional monologue about his struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and his attempts to overcome it with therapy, medication and, naturally, psychotropic drugs. With a note-perfect rendition of an erudite and affecting script, the result is a mesmerising hour, but there are two problems. The first stems from the fact that stories about drug use can be extremely self-involved. Strauss uses this to his benefit to delve into his psyche and offer what feel like genuine insights into his life. He also sidesteps the pitfall of drug-taking's solipsistic nature by using his immense writing skill and delivering a script full of elocutionary acrobatics to take the audience right along with him on his trips. The self-absorption becomes detrimental, however, in his one-dimensional and misogynistic depiction of his ex-lover, who introduced him to imbibing mescaline.
The other issue is genre. It's played for laughs but the show has more in common with theatre than comedy. It succeeds as a piece confessional storytelling about some very real issues – and realistic solutions – but don't expect belly laughs.
Underbelly, Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, until 25 Aug, 3.50pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).