A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad)
Sally (Madeleine MacMahon) is living her best life. Sneaking into gigs to watch her favourite band play has the 16-year-old feeling as though she has the world at her feet – though, sadly, this is all short-lived. Before long, the happy-go-lucky teen is caught up in a whirlwind of emotions that eat away at her mind, body and soul, pushing her to take decisions that are simply out of her control.
Penned by double Olivier Award-winner Jon Brittain (Rotterdam and Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho), A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) dives into the subject of mental health, showcasing the debilitating changes that depression causes in its sufferer. The play does not glorify this illness, nor does it skim over it. It shows it for what it really is: a condition that tries to rob the sufferer of their hopes and dreams, but from which there is an escape. As the title suggests, the story is both happy and sad. When dealing with subject matter as dark as this, it’s easy to get caught up in the systematics of it all and veer off course, however, Brittain’s play demonstrates that, while it’s ok not to be ok, topics relating to mental health can be handled in light-hearted ways in the arts. Each time the narrative faces a tunnel moment, the cast members break into song and dance, uplifting the mood and tone of the scene. Composer Matthew Floyd Jones does a stellar job here in making the transitions happen.
Hats off to Madeleine MacMahon, whose sheer brilliance in being able to shift from comedy to tragedy at the flick of a switch makes the production all the more thrilling to watch. Equally, Sophie Clay and Ed Yelland, who play multiple roles to perfection, provide the story’s skeleton, giving it dimension.
This show is a must-see for anyone who has ever struggled with their emotions, and sought a safe space in which to be seen and heard.
A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) is available to stream via Stream.Theatre from 1st July until 11th July 2021. For further information or to book visit here.