I have seen many shows that tackle the issue of anxiety and depression, rarely are they pulled off well. Often they are done where either the writer or performer has no idea about the topic and hasn’t done enough research. I often get angry because I find it so disrespectful that the research and work hasn’t been put in to send a truthful message. I’m Fine! is definitely not one of these shows. Lucy Gransbury who openly talks about her battle with anxiety, is not only genuine but has a charm that shines through in her hilarious cabaret show.
Gransbury expertly intersperses stories from her childhood and from her therapy sessions with musical numbers, some that she has come across that tell her story and some she has just re-written completely. Changing the lyrics to numbers such as Wannabe by the Spice Girls and Do Re Mi from The Sound of Music to create extremely funny songs of her dealings with the illness and had the audience and myself in fits of laughter. Thrown into the mix were some straight songs such as Tea and Toast which was absolutely stunning.
The show is brought to a whole new level when the audience essentially fills in the gaps to create their very own erotic literature. Yes, there is audience participation but it is limited to answering a question like ‘Give me one word to describe a cucumber’ and that is as far as it goes so if you are someone who tries to avoid audience participation, don’t stress about that one. The result of our words created a very weird but brilliantly funny erotic chapter involving juggling werewolves from a Peanut Butter Factory and again had the audience in stitches.
Gransbury has written and performs an exceptionally funny, moving, clever and respectful piece of theatre. The only slight criticism I have is that I would have liked to have seen less of the straight songs (the final number and the umbrella number), not because they weren’t performed well but because I think Gransbury’s own lyrics are much better and more fun to listen to. I understand these are added (probably) to get across a message, however I think she gets the message across with her own charm and talent. I was going to give this show a 3.5 but then I was given free chocolate covered chalk. Seriously though, this is a show to see, in fact I may take a few friends and go again. Get in quick though, it is running at The Butterfly Club now and closes on Sunday the 17th!
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression and/or anxiety, please seek some help. The first step isn’t as scary as it feels.