Review: Am I A Terrible Person (Brighton Fringe)

Ant Lightfoot writes and performs this honest look at OCD and mental illness. At just twenty-three minutes its a tough call to get through all the issues but there isn’t a wasted moment here.

We hear Lightfoot discussing how “self-care” has become a buzzword while taking a bath, watch a comedy routine where self-harm is touched on, eavesdrop on their interior monologues about their thoughts, imagined reactions of others, or tune in to specific lines of a song.

There is a deeply poetic and poignant element to Lightfoot’s writing. In recognising not only the complexity of mental health generally, but specifically their own, they address the stigma which still leads people to step away from matters affecting the mind.

Two scenes really resonated with me – one where reactions to personal appearance and sharing of material is played out through a laughter track, and the other pointing out that you are never expected to stop smiling when you are happy.

However, despite a strong performance and relatable areas of compulsion, depression, agrophobia and trauma, I felr this show needs further exploration and expansion.

The subject matter is strong, and Lightfoot’s exploration of it is full of inventive touches and personal observations: but in its present form it feels as if there is much more to say, and I really look forward to seeing where Am I A Terrible Person? goes next.

Fringe rating: ***

Am I A Terrible Person? is streaming at the Living Record as part of the Brighton Fringe until 27 June. Book your ticket here.

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