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Review of Cancel The Sunshine at The Hope Theatre

Cancel The SunshineCancel The Sunshine is an ambitious piece of theatre. A kaleidoscope of poetry, prose and media that often repeats and revisits much like the negative thought spirals that are key to its subject matter – depression. There’s much to like – the honesty, rawness and the soul bared openness of both the writing and the performance, as well as the kinetic energy of the staging – making full use of every available space, thanks to some thoughtful and creative work from director Scott Le Crass.

Maya Thomas gives her everything to the performance and wrings out the anger, confusion, panic and helplessness her character feels with desperate abandon. Sometimes this makes the play a difficult watch – I longed for an intervention or a happy ending but this play isn’t about making an audience comfortable – it’s about showing what depression feels like from the inside. We’re all put through the wringer over the course of this one hour performance.

There are some excellent observations within the play about how friends and well-meaning professionals can miss their opportunities to help. How the lives of other people continue, often oblivious, to the devastation in their wake. Thomas plays the conversations with the therapist beautifully and we see her hope and her optimism grow just as quickly as we see them dashed back to the floor again.

Chantelle Dusette has used her own experiences of depression to inspire this play and its confessional quality is both its strength and at times what makes it a little distancing. Part of you roots for her, and at other times she’s so self-destructive and self- defeating that it’s infuriating to watch – which I am sure is entirely Dusette’s point – that depression can be contradictory, alienating and unpredictable.

This is a play about confusion, depression and spiralling out of your own life – Dusette, Thomas and Le Crass have taken on an important subject matter and created a piece of theatre that provokes and challenges. This is unapologetic angry urgent theatre that wants to shake you up.

4 stars

Review by Roz Wyllie

cancel the sunshine
writer: CHANTELLE DUSETTE / director: SCOTT LE CRASS

15 March – 2 April 2016
“Monday morning.  I survived the weekend.”
A woman is gripped inside a vortex of multicolour-layered states of mind.  Hers.

Honest, raw, and with sharply observed humour, this is an account of a woman’s struggle with her painful past, inadequate present, and her unquenched desire to find happiness whilst living with a mental illness.

Set against the backdrop of her bedroom, the vibrant, fast paced, seemingly unforgiving, and constantly evolving city of London also inhabits the space and comes to life in this piece of immersive storytelling.
This woman’s incredibly human yearning for redemption glimmers. But will she ever reach it?
Join us in this beautifully poetic and bold piece of uncompromising and urgent theatre.

The show supports the Amy Winehouse Foundation www.amywinehousefoundation.org

About Chantelle Dusette’s previous work: “During its hour duration, The Beloved manages to fit in a lot with economical storytelling and engaging performances.  An accomplished and emotionally satisfying play.”  Everything Theatre review of The Beloved at The Drayton Arms Theatre, April 2014.

Box Office opens at 7.00pm. The performance lasts 1 hour without interval. No re-admittance once the performance has commenced.

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