Mental - Edinburgh Fringe 2019 Review (Dead Man's Hand Productions)

image of event
Photo credit: Dead Man's Hand Productions

Having read the description of "Mental" I was looking forward to seeing it, but not extremely excited. There's a lot of mental health related theatre at the Fringe this year, which is obviously excellent, but there's only so many deep and meaningful points about it that one can make.

I was pleasantly surprised, on viewing, to see that Dead Man's Hand clearly also understand this saturation - so they didn't particularly make any point at all. It was just an accurate, sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking depiction of life as a youth with mental health issues, specifically in a youth facility.


Despite not being the main characters, two that really stood out to me were Milo and Rosie. The actors playing these characters were beyond convincing with their conditions that I started to believe they really had these issues. With that said, the entire cast was great.


Mags and Sam's teenage
rivalry and lust for each other is just joyous, nostalgic and accurate to watch. The first scene and last scene being so closely linked really worked, and have a sense of finality to the play despite it very easily being able to carry on to 2, maybe even 3 hours.


I recommend this show to anyone that ever had mental health issues either as a teenager, or ever. With that said, whilst I think those people will get the most out of the show, I can't think of many types of people that wouldn't feel like they've seen a really good show after watching this. It's a stunning and emotional commentary on mental health, that doesn't force its way into a point that has to "make you think".


Verdict: ★★★★½


"Mental" runs until 24th August at Greenside, Nicholson Square (Lime Studio) at 10pm.


https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/mental

By Lewis Forman

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