Of the many shows exploring depression at this year’s Fringe, Andrea Hubert’s debut is one of the more overt.
Star rating: ***
Venue: Gilded Balloon at the Counting House (Venue 170)
Willing to show herself in an eccentric and unflattering light, her sardonic and even cruel humour is initially abrasive, and she creates a divide with the audience by asking them to nominate good deeds they’ve recently performed.
This though, is an hour in which she foregrounds her mental health struggles from the moment she takes the mic, setting out that things will start rough but should turn out alright in the end. Unable to perform easily relatable, observational comedy, finding candid confessional more to her liking, along the way she touches on suicidal thoughts, self-harm and narcotics abuse, not to mention infidelity and cancer.
But she can’t even feel secure in her misery, trumped for degradation by the crackheads in her drug counselling, discouraged by her forthright mother from taking medication because it’ll make her seem weak.
Hubert is upfront about lashing out as a defence mechanism and in sympathy, it becomes easier to appreciate her lacerating wit. That she’s still standing on stage betrays her redemption and she finishes on a relatively positive note, grandstanding at her young nephew’s expense.
Until 29 August. Today 3:45pm.