Every Brilliant Thing Review

Your husband leaves you because he just cannot bear the unfolding catastrophe of the bi polar express train any more.. You find a note, seven years later in record you used to play together, its from him and it says … “if you can find help, I would like to try again”.

The sadness rushes in again, and you are so afraid. so distressed you call your old guidance councillor from school, at home (she is retired now) – to talk with ‘huggie’ the sock puppet. You are so sad, that life seems utterly impossible anymore, and a few minutes later a moment of inexplicable laughter punctures the balloon of your deep despair. You want to hold on to it, chase the highs, but then the waves come crashing in…

Seeing Jenna Lee feel these sorrows and delightfully hilarious moments of insight is to walk this fine line between madness and ecstasy. To have a cosmic viewpoint into the realms of  “The Sorrows of Young Werther” the book by Goethe that is the pivot of this experience. The audience is brought into the tension by being asked to perform little pieces and the way the parts are crafted – the father the bride, the young husband, if there is fear of the audience, then it only adds to a carefully crated uncertainty . The feeling of being on a trap door that might just open at any moment.

Very few actors could play this part, her vulnerable portrayal of beloved wonder and strangeness is so deep, you can’t help but trust her, and let go. Because deep down, so many of us live with an ineffable sadness.  A sadness too great and extreme to be expressed in words. 

That is what makes this play so amazing, it gives experience to something that cannot be simply told, it must be felt. The emotions are real, it is a group catharsis and it speeds along, the 75 minutes sound so long, but when it is over, it seems like we have just arrived.

James McCaul

for info check out Globe Theatre


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