Bryony Kimmings: 7 Days Drunk
March 31, 2012 § Leave a comment
The best way to witness Bryony Kimmings’ 7 Days Drunk, is to be slightly tipsy yourself.
And in the downstairs venue of the Soho Theatre, with its bar, and cosy little round tables, it’s an easy feat to accomplish.
Order a drink, sit in your seat and watch the madness unfold.
Science Meets Art
The one-woman show is the creative representation of a scientific experiment Bryony undertook: to be drunk for seven whole days, staring at 0.0 on the blood alcohol level and ending up at 0.12 (the equivalent of seven shots of vodka for breakfast).
Why? To find if there is a link between alcohol and creativity and to answer the simple question: ‘Am I a better artist drunk?’
Everything she does on stage (with the exception of the audience participation – oh, yes, the audience gets involved, but I’ll come back to that) was composed during Bryony’s week of intoxication.
Taking us through her seven days of drunkenness, the show is an hour and a half of self-composed songs like the hilarious I drink, therefore I am, keyboard playing, drunken dancing, monologue and video footage.
And of course audience participation. Pre-show Bryony came around the tables, asking unsuspecting audience members if they wanted to do her a ‘favour.’
With my fear of standing up in front of a room full of strangers, I politely declined. But Shae from Texas was braver than I, and volunteered to be Bryony’s guinea pig for the evening.
Her task? To consume a drink composed of seven shots of vodka, mixed with cranberry juice in seven minutes and to keep drinking all night – a live recreation of Bryonny’s own experiment.
But Shae was not the only one suckered into getting up on stage. Four others joined Bryonny for a ‘party’ where they danced with, fondled and kissed a complete stranger in front of the entire audience.
Amongst all the laughter and frivolity, there was a moment of sobering reality. On ‘Day Five’ Bryony read out “Dear Amy” – a ‘letter’ interspersed with a video of a friend, Amy Liptrot, a journalist from Glasgow with a problem with alcohol.
As we hear Amy tell of her addiction and Bryony’s description of the disintegration of their friendship as Amy’s drinking got progressively worse, we are reminded of “just how dangerous alcohol can be.”
But not to worry, the show ends the way it began: with hilarity, involving more songs, a piñata and every single person out of their chairs raving under strobe lighting.
So, is Bryony Kimmings a better artist drunk? Judging from the laughter, applause and the fact that I had a brilliant time, an emphatic ‘yes’ is the answer.
Last show tonight, March 31st 2012 @ the SoHo Theatre. Student: £12.50