366 Days of Kindness

366 Days of Kindness is the uplifting story of one woman’s journey through a leap year, doing something kind for a stranger every single day. Bernadette Russell begins her tale with the unkind things she has done. She shares everything from eating a goldfish, vomiting it back up and then eating it again, to laughing the entire way through a wedding because the bride was a foot taller than the groom.

My main issue was that documenting every single act of kindness, capturing it in a photo surely takes something away from the sentiment of the act itself.

Her movement was sparked from the 2011 London riots. We are shown footage of these events before some heroic music comes on in the background and Russell starts a long list of ‘What can I do...’ about everything from looting, to eight year olds in bras and twerking.

Russell has enlisted the help of her partner Gareth Brierley on stage, he acts as everything from the tech guy, to characters she met and a kind of overbearing narrator figure, who occasionally interjects something like, ‘And why did you do that Bernadette?’ Together they go through the good deeds she did and the various people she met representing each of them with shoes – a strange choice considering the associations this might have for some people. Their interaction was a little bit Punch and Judy (without the domestic violence) but the style was embedded in the slapstick and left a lot to be desired.

My main issue was that documenting every single act of kindness, capturing it in a photo surely takes something away from the sentiment of the act itself. At one point Russell refers to other ‘kindness businesses’. I left wondering what was more worrying, the social implications of the riots, or the fact that people are capitalising on a good deed. But as businesses to be in go – there are certainly worse ones than kindness.

Reviews by Amber Gregory

Brighton Spiegeltent

Harman

★★★★
Marlborough Theatre

Yes No Maybe

★★
Upstairs at Three and Ten

The Common Land

★★★★
45 Springfield Road

The House Project

★★★★
Brighton Spiegeltent

366 Days of Kindness

★★★
Upstairs at Three and Ten

Lead Pencil and Friends

★★★★

Since you’re here…

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Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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Performances

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The Blurb

Can kindness change the world? Find out in this uplifting joyful show. In response to the riots in 2011, Bernadette resolved to do a random act of kindness for a stranger every day. She left sweets in phone boxes, £5 notes on buses and offered her socks to the homeless. Part story telling, part stand up, part documentary. "engaging and entertaining...charming, self-deprecating and downright funny..this show might just change your life" William Stafford

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