Juliette Burton: Butterfly Effect
- Murray Robertson
- 9 August 2017
Ultimately lukewarm show which spreads a wonderfully positive message
There's a long history of comedy as therapy at the Fringe, and Butterfly Effect follows that tradition with a candid confessional from Juliette Burton about her many long and hard-fought battles against various mental health conditions. It sounds like heavy stuff but Burton is a very positive performer and she's clearly trying to turn a series of bad experiences into something good.
When a build-up of sad events finally pushed her over the edge and brought her to tears at King's Cross Station, Burton was saved by an act of kindness from a stranger who simply offered her a tissue and a smile before disappearing from her life. On another occasion, Burton was briefly mesmerised during a psychotic episode by a simple message she saw somewhere in her subconscious: 'be kind' (she describes the origins of this edict as her 'neurochemistry going haywire') and she uses her show to encourage others to make small but kindly gestures.
Burton is a joyful bundle of energy although her enthusiasm is unmatched by the material's quality. Much of her story is only vaguely sketched and she spends too much time repeatedly encouraging her audience to be nice to other people, particularly during a drawn-out ending. A more disciplined focus on her battles might have made for a more engaging show.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 27 Aug (not 14), 4.30pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50).