My Beautiful Black Dog

Brigitte Aphrodite in My Beautiful Black Dog
Brigitte Aphrodite in My Beautiful Black Dog

There are a number of shows at this year’s fringe exploring mental health issues in inventive ways. Musician Brigitte Aphrodite’s dissection of her own depression is one of them: part gig, part performance.

When Aphrodite was at her lowest she barely left her bed for three weeks. Here she stands in front of us, exposed, in a body stocking and sparkly pants – there is an awful lot of glitter in this show – and via a series of songs, performed alongside her musical director Quiet Boy, she describes her emotional ups and downs.

We’re Going to Pop This Party is almost aggressively upbeat, a frenzied account of partying it up night after night. Between songs she retreats into a big black trunk, hides away. The songs themselves are catchy, the lyrics funny and sharp.

But eventually, inevitably, the music stops. We hear the voices of her concerned family and friends. Then she takes out a letter she has written which explores her illness from the inside. It’s a cathartic moment for everyone, which leaves Aphrodite with her face streaked with mascara and glitter. My Beautiful Black Dog is a raw show in more ways than one, but the warmth and good feeling that it generates is kind of glorious.

Verdict
A raw but uplifting mixture of music and performance about embracing life with depression
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