“This is a show that has come from a powerful brain. It constantly reshapes and reforms itself as it looks at depression from every angle, zooms right in on the personal and charges out into the political.”
Join performance maker, Demi Nandhra, her long- term hates-public-spaces partner, Aaron and their dog on a journey of mental illness, suicide and radical cure attempts at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Life is No Laughing Matter is part personal narrative, part social rant, part mess that tells the exhausting account of living with depression; from the urgency of finding a cure, to dissecting the cultural disease to eating a fuckton of bananas. Expect a helluva lot of codependency, holy water and the one and only, Yoko Ono (the dog version).
It asks its audience to consider weighty questions- “Can suicide be alright for some?” Bold controversial statements; “Depression is not just killing white men” and intimate, shameful confessions; “I don’t care if Aaron doesn’t want to be here, I’m ill and I need him”
Contradictions are at the centre of this work, one moment it understands that mental illness is a complex concoction of genetics, circumstances and historical trauma but also, maybe a puppy can cure you? It zooms into finding a personal cure and zooms out to question the intersections of capitalism and mental health.
Life is No Laughing Matter is a nuanced look at mental illness from the perspective of a South Asian woman. It considers the cultural & political intersections of mental illness and why depression doesn’t end after we tell someone- “ask for help or buy a puppy.”
Demi said: “I make work for liberation; for myself & others to begin to feel at home in our bodies in any context, I am really excited to be bringing my work to Edinburgh and hopefully challenging perceptions of mental health or give an insight into what it feel likes to struggle and deal with thoughts and feelings connected to our mental health.”
Against the wishes (probably) of everyone in the mental health movement this show is NOT ABOUT HAVING A CONVERSATION ON MENTAL ILLNESS. CONVERSATIONS ARE SHIT AND WE HAVE HAD TOO MANY.
This Summerhall run of Life is No Laughing Matter is supported by antidepressants.
Venue: Tech Cube 0, Summer Hall, EH9 1PL
Time: 1:00pm (60 mins)
Previews: 31 July – 1 August, £5
1 – 18 August, (not 5th & 12th), £10 (£8)
Age guidance: 14+ under 14 at parental discretion.
Demi Nandhra is a neurodiverse artist based in Birmingham. She makes & curates both solo & collaborative performances, Live Art, Theatre & sociopolitical enquiries with a focus on Mental Health, Care, Trauma & Oppression. She has performed in beds, Theatres & Galleries around the UK and Europe. Demi was awarded the 2017 Flying Solo Commission by Contact (Manchester)
Her work at present centres on personal/political shame of the inherent self and how performance can be a tool to liberate that shame. Her focus lays on the care and complete liberation of identities that are policed, denied and erased within white supremacy. www.deminandhra.com
Demi Nandhra presents-
LIFE IS NO LAUGHING MATTER
Tech Cube 0, Summerhall
1:00pm (60 mins)
31st July – 18th Aug (No show 5th & 12th)
Writer and Performer: Demi Nandhra
Lighting Design: Lizzie Moran
Original Lighting Design: Ethan Hudson
Set Design: Claire Browne
Outside Eye: Francesca Milican Slater
Original Dramaturgical Support: Anna Howard & Clive Judd