I Hate Myself So People Will Like Me (and Other Strategies for Success) - One4Review
one4review | On 26, Aug 2017
I feel distinctly uncomfortable about awarding stars to a show which was about a person’s struggle with their own sense of self-worth. The show is courageous, and what some pithy reviewer reduces it to with some asterisks is irrelevant.
This show is far darker and much more personal than I was expecting from something in the comedy section, and even from the show blurb (‘autobiographical, confessional and uncompromising’ is quite vague). This isn’t comedy in the traditional happy-go-lucky everyone-enjoy-themselves-for-an-hour, unless you like laughing at people struggling with ill-health. But I also wouldn’t have seen the show at all if it had been filed under theatre – so maybe comedy is the place for it.
The technicals in this show – especially the difference between the on-mic/off-mic Hanna – work well to evoke a sense of a mind corroding itself. There’s a definite sense of progressive descent, and it’s not all created by what she says – it also comes across in the way it’s staged. Hanna is an actor, and though the accounts of her experience were performed, the emotions and experiences were clearly not an act.
This is an emotionally draining show just sitting in the audience – I can’t imagine performing it every night – but Hanna does release you from its spell with a brief explanation and some gentle comedy at the end.
Just the Tonic at the Caves, 17:40
Reviewed by Laura