Funny, honest and real
The panel consisted of Zoe Lyons, Hal Cruttenden and broadcaster Bibi Lynch, who between them, despite being at different stages of their own respective journeys, shared some insight, wisdom and comedic quips along the way and were able to connect with each other in ways that were unexpected and delightful.
Lyons began the discussion with her recent breakup and tentative reconciliation with her wife. Her style of comedy is usually sharp and to the point, but here she was brave enough to say that she had a part in the initial breakup during lockdown after looking at herself and her well-being more carefully than usual. She seemed very grounded as she candidly spoke about being in therapy and the hardships she went through during the separation - including staying in a friend's garage in the New Forest. Seeing her transformation talked about in this manner showed a different side to Lyons that made us appreciate her all the more if we were familiar with her work, but also introduced newcomers to her with ease.
Cruttenden was next as he shared his recent raw experience of going through a divorce with his wife after 21 years of marriage. At the time of reviewing, he was in his seventh month of splitting up, living in the same house as her and both parties had split mutually. His style of comedy seemed more vulnerable than the others as he quipped about the joys of living under the same roof as an ex and discovering new things about himself as a person. He openly shared that he was building a new relationship with his daughter and looking forward to finding himself again, comparing his present self to the desperation of being accepted by women in his youth, showing his growth and sensitivity within his self-deprecation.
Lynch showed a different perspective to breaking up with someone the day after Princess Diana died and not having a relationship since then. Her wit was more acerbic as she discussed having high standards that were unobtainable by potential partners and dating people called 'Frank' as part of a podcast series she did. Likewise, she was honest about wanting to find love as she got older, but at the same time shared the frustration many people go through of not being able to find love at any stage of their lives. But the big highlight was when she and Cruttenden began the shortest relationship through banter ever! To find out what happened, check out the podcast.
The Breakup Monologues needs to be brought back to Brighton Fringe next year, as well as other times throughout the year. Funny, honest and real.