Michael Downey: Blue Sometimes
An honest and eye-opening account of mental illness that doesn't past muster as a comedy show
This article is from 2014.
There are times when the star rating system becomes a burden and this is one of the most pointed examples of this. By giving it only two stars, we suggest a show has little merit; while this isn’t true in Downey’s case, you need to know what to expect.
The ‘blue’ in the title, he stresses, is not in reference to the level of filth but the rather benign euphemism for clinical depression. Over the course of the show he documents, from a highly personal level, the different feelings that depression can cause (isolation, frustration, lethargy) and tries to find humorous ways to express and explain them. The biggest issue here is that the quality of the humour just isn’t present; for this show to work as stand-up it really needs to excel in order to create a strong enough juxtaposition to the blackness of Downey’s reality.
Mental health has received greater focus recently with various advertising campaigns but it is still a taboo subject for many. Downey's is a searingly honest and eye-opening account of depression, and the final section on suicide is utterly heartbreaking. It's in this veracity it finds its value, but if you are looking for ‘comedy’ then it probably isn't what you're looking for.
Underbelly, Bristo Square, 0844 545 8252, until 24 Aug (not 11), 9.30pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11).