7 Day Drunk

We’ve all done it. See down a few beverages, and then suddenly you’re the most talented and creative artist that ever there was – or at least you think so. But Bryony Kimmings goes one step further to investigate the truth of it, enlisting a photogenic team of scientists to help her to create 7 Day Drunk. Everything about the show, Kimmings claims, was created while she was drunk. And you can believe it.

Charting her creative and emotional progress through a week of peaking blood alcohol content, the Soho Theatre hosts the frantic, reflective, and increasingly bizarre one woman variety show. A spartan set is a blank canvas on which Kimmings leaps, climbs, raves, and climaxes in a variety of questionable outfits.

Kimmings’ storytelling is impeccable, and utterly captivating as she recounts the most personal tales. Nobody who has ever been drunk can fail to roar with laughter at any one of her scenes, seeing themselves reflected to perfection, regardless of the kind of drunk they are. She never once cropped the squiffy mask, even through what I hope was an accidental slip of a knife that resulted in quite lot of blood!

Plenty of engagement with the audience completed Kimmings’ wholesale use of the space at Soho Downstairs, from picking one special drinking buddy to accompany her through the show, to bold attempt at matchmaking live on stage. Yet at times it seemed like we weren’t quite drunk enough for the party, as Kimmings’ romps among her new found friends trod the line of awkwardness.

Somewhat counter intuitively, the show becomes more sobering as Kimmings’ week of drinking progresses, warning against the unsavoury side effects of inebriation. And at times, we are left yearning for a clear path through the frenetic multi-media experience, for a storyline to follow. Instead, we are bombarded with a disconnected pastiche of drunken innovation, which perhaps makes more sense to the artist who lived through it. But even in this, Kimmings is true to the reality of drunkenness, and she showcases her talent as a performance artist in stitching together a weeks’ worth of drink and depression into a show that leaves you aching with laughter and empathy.

Reviews by Leila Battison

Since you’re here…

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The Blurb

Bryony Kimmings is NOT an alcoholic... but admittedly she has always had a rocky relationship with booze. It seems the dark stuff is intrinsically linked to her self worth and confidence as an artist and is to blame for some of her most genius as well as her most hideous creations.

Of course this is no new conundrum, for years artists have struggled with their addictions and the effects on their creativity: Truman Capote, Jackson Pollock, Dylan Thomas, Jim Morrison... all case in (coffined) point.

Created during a 7 day experiment in which Bryony was kept in varying states of scientific intoxication, the show follows the artist as she cracks open her own creative psyche with the help of neuroscientists, pharmacologists, sociologists, a film maker and a wayward team of American IT experts. Testing her limits and her own skills as an artist Bryony investigates whether alcohol really IS liked to creativity. Performed sober.

 

 

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