In Search of Myself

Mental health is a topic often uncomfortable or awkward to address directly, especially when tackling very personal experiences. Although as a society we are taking a huge step forward in terms of encouraging discussions around mental health, negative stereotypes and the stigma of living with a mental health illness still needs to be eradicated. In Search of Myself sensitively, yet wholeheartedly, tackles this by providing us with an intimate glimpse into a manic episode Eve (Jessamy James) is being controlled by. This hard-hitting, thought-provoking and unapologetically poignant play captures the helplessness Eve and her partner Jim (Nathaniel Fairnington) who fails to recognise the behavioural and emotional cues that indicated Eve was suffering with depression. This is an honest, powerful and emotional piece of theatre that will leave you silenced at first and then deep in thought for hours.

This is an honest, powerful and poignant piece of theatre that will leave you silenced at first and then deep in thought for hours.

In Search of Myself simultaneously addresses the helplessness, confusion and panic of Eve as she battles a manic episode alone, whilst providing an insight into how Jim missed the warning signs. The present – the height of Eve’s manic episode – and the past – the warning signs missed by Jim – alternate so we can see the tragic consequences of Jim’s lack of understanding unravelling as the warning signs become more obvious. The clever scene-switching not only parallels Eve's manic and unstructured thoughts, but also allows us to be reminded of the witty, caring, sarcastic Eve who is being controlled by this manic episode.

Benedetta Basil, director and writer, sensitively but wholeheartedly tackles how patients feel about the drugs they are taking for depression and highlighting the little control they have over what is going into their bodies. The audience are invited into the emotional hospital scenes as we are acknowledged by Eve, becoming a physical representation of her delusions. An uncomfortable yet powerful technique used to demonstrate the severity of the delusions controlling her. This was the most powerful part of the play as it had the most impact on the audience. Although other scenes were not as poignant, the messages they shared and awareness they raised were paramount.

The medical professionals were portrayed as faceless and impersonal, allows us to purely focus on the impact the manic episode has on Eve and their fiery relationship with the medical professionals who rigidly stick to protocol. Interactions between Eve, Jim and the medical professionals showcase the lack of understanding on both sides of the desk. On the one hand, Jim’s lack of awareness and mocking results in Eve not feeling confident to ask him for help. On the other hand, the medical professionals following ‘protocol’ show a lack of understanding towards how Eve feels as a patient not having any control over which drugs enter her body.

In Search of Myself is a brilliantly powerful and inventive way of shedding light on serious issues hindering the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders such as depression and bipolar. You will be left deep in thought, silenced and thoroughly captivated.

Reviews by Ellie Thompson

Marlborough Theatre

Sisterhood

★★★
The Caxton Arms

Wratten & Robson: Juxtaposition

★★★
Rialto Theatre

Face to Face

★★★★
The Warren: The Hat

Mortified

★★★★★
The Warren: The Burrow

Think Outside The Box

★★
Sweet Werks 2

Are Strings Attached?

★★★

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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Jim and Eve before, during, and after, a manic episode. Eve has to deal with the highs and lows of a mood she has no control over, delusions that change her personality, and the state of her mental health, while struggling with depression. Jim has to deal with the sharp memories and feelings connected to what happened, what she did, and what she said in the moments he couldn’t recognise her, and the way he has just made it worse. "An incredibly important piece... powerful piece of theatre" (The Reviews Hub)

Most Popular See More

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets