A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) at the Vaults
A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) is exactly that. It’s silly, it’s funny and it’s uplifting but there’s a deep emotional glue holding it all together and sitting just under the surface.
The new cabaret musical from Silent Uproar opens in London, nearing the end of a hugely successful national tour, to shine a light on depression. It is the story of Sally, who at 16 years old is going to change the world. But life quickly takes a dark turn.
The narrative is cleverly put together by writer John Brittain, representing the ups and downs of the condition that Sally battles with. And despite the subject matter, the piece is genuinely quite lovely.
Depression is not discussed as much as it should be and when it is it’s certainly not done so in such a vibrant and and feel-good way. But A Super Happy Story really takes the cold, dark subject and delivers warmth and fun.
Sally is played by Madeleine MacMahon, and by strength of her performance or by strength of Brittain’s writing, but probably a combination of both, Sally feels real. Not just believable or realistic – every minute feels like this must be MacMahon’s real story, that aside from a few embellishments this is actually the life she’s lived and now she’s written a brutally honest and even more brutally heartwarming show about it.
There’s music and singing and the whole affair is utterly glittery. It’s not necessarily a soundtrack that people will want to look up and listen to over and over but the songs are decent. Music is certainly used well to take the edge off and build a little more fun and excitement.
Everyone can stand to learn more about depression but the strength of A Super Happy Story is that it is not simply educational. It is first and foremost a wonderful piece of entertainment. So for anyone who doesn’t mind a little bit of strong language, this show is well worth the cost of the ticket. Or catch it on a “Pay What You Decide” night and decide exactly what it’s worth.
Photo: Samuel Taylor Headshots
A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) is at the Vaults from 2nd April until 3rd May 2019. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.