To date I can’t remember a time when I have had such an enjoyable and entertaining evening at the theatre that deals with such a sensitive and often stigmatised subject, mental illness. Lisa Brickell (writer and lead) has put together a delightful, humorous and touching story of a family which has struggled with a history of Post-Partum Affective Disorder (Post Natal Depression) and has opened the birdcage up on few personal truths and family skeletons which both shock and delight.
Initially, Mockingbird, was written as a solo act that included touches of musical accompaniments and vocal prompts by Sarah Macombee, musical director, but now has been developed into a two hander play which allows both Lisa and Sarah to offer generous helpings of drama, song and irony. I might also add at this point that the ‘comic timing’ from the Mockingbird duo is quite superb.
There is an ample amount of characters in the play which are shared by Lisa and Sarah. Lisa taking the lead characters and Sarah playing the quite hilarious supporting roles as well as providing the live music. The two really do work well together like well-oiled peddles on a bike. Their timing and delivery of lines is second to none.
I found myself lost in this wonderfully told story from the beginning to the end. I enjoyed meeting all of the characters as they were unfurled by Lisa who has done exceptionally well with the script. For such a complicated story which stretches over more than three generations of quite complex characters, Mockingbird is surprisingly easy to follow. The play is based on real events and is very thoughtful and considerate as well as being delivered brilliantly. You’ll laugh you’ll ponder. You may even shed a tear.
I highly recommend a viewing of this extremely well done play. The show is on until Saturday the 8th at The Basement Theatre Auckland.
Written and Performed By Lisa Brickell
Music written and performed By Sarah Macombee
Directed By Giovanni Fusetti and Ruth Dudding