Theatre review: A Robot In Human Skin

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: On last year’s Fringe, Nicole Henriksen exposed herself physically in Makin’ It Rain, a show about her stint as a stripper and the feminist questions the job raised.

Underbelly Med Quad (Venue 302)

***

She is exposing herself again in A Robot In Human Skin, but this time emotionally.

In this homemade collage of anecdotes that goes from chirpy stand-up to first-person confessional, she describes her history of anxiety attacks. Hers is a condition that varies in intensity from mild fear of missing her bus stop to debilitating paralysis that keeps her from leaving the house.

Standing in a tinfoil robot helmet and underwear, with nothing but a ukulele to hide behind, she treads the fine line between storytelling and therapy session. Her purpose is partly to acknowledge a mental illness that for too long she was ashamed of, partly to share an insight into a condition that is invisible to the naked eye and partly to promote the value of empathy and support for fellow sufferers.

The show could do with a tighter directorial eye, but it has enough honesty and charm to carry its hand-knitted aesthetic. You leave hoping she’ll be all right.

Until 28 August. Today 8:30pm.