Activities of Daily Living

This is not a nice Fringe for comedy. It is riven with division and seems in thrall to the semi-professional sufferers and their life stories, happy to substitute self-satisfied self-obsession for craft, talent and laughs. But still insistent that it is comedy. Because that gets you more attention.

Reach in and put a string of lights round your heart

Imagine then, my delight at being misdirected into Activities of Daily Living, a show that turns out to be theatre, and getting to spend an hour in the company of Joanna Lipari.

In fact, if you are reading this within walking distance of Gilded Balloon Teviot and you can get there by 1.45pm, just stop reading now and give yourself this hour which will, to quote novelist Jane Rule, “reach in and put a string of lights round your heart.”

Her Sicilian father and Czech mother must have made the perfect genetic mix, because so much of what Lipari has cannot be learned. It is a kind of calm, intelligent star quality. You cannot take your eyes off her. You do not want to miss a word she says. She is spell-binding.

Her theme is her life, all 73 well-lived years of it. Every single self-obsessed baby performer filling an hour of my life with the perceived problems of theirs need to come and see this beautiful show. Through rape and the 1960s, when men were men and REALLY knew how to discriminate against women, through love and loss, marriage, Montana and death, past Mayan fetishes and elves and twig men on a tree of life to snot, swollen feet and the social invisibility of the older woman, we follow this incredible actress, with the gentle voice and the truth in her eyes.

Lipari creates her own world not just in words and memories, but in adorable, minimal animations projected behind her, with which she interacts.

This is a show where a beautiful, creative, talented, charismatic woman pretty much gives the gift of her incredible life to you, all wrapped up in silken threads of humour, and writing and performance skill. I have never sat in an audience and felt quite so… the only word I can think of is 'honoured' to be there.

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Reviews by Kate Copstick

Greenside @ Nicolson Square

What Broke David Lynch?

★★★
Gilded Balloon Teviot

Activities of Daily Living

★★★★★
theSpaceTriplex

It's Fraser Brown, I'm Afraid

★★★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Absolutely Burlesque Cabaret

★★★
theSpaceTriplex

Aladdin

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

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.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

When her Medicare card arrives with a special old-age pensioner invisibility cloak, one woman decides to fight back. Veteran film, television and stage actor Joanna Lipari writes and performs these funny and poignant vignettes, incorporating innovative, top-drawer animation to weave together the threads of a life well lived. A life overflowing with triumphs, mistakes, heartaches, regrets and hopes in equal measure... and hardly invisible. 'Entertaining, heartfelt and guaranteed to inspire you to live life to the fullest' (BroadwayWorld.com). 'A fast-paced trip all can enjoy' (Pasadena Independent).

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