Going Slightly Mad

Aug 10 2019 | By More

★★★★☆   Fast paced

Young critics scheme review
Bedlam Theatre (Venue 49): Fri 2 – Fri 16 Aug 2019
Review by Layza Venancio Mirhadi

Going Slightly Mad by Big Mind Theatre at the Bedlam for the first two weeks of the fringe has a storyline that touches on mental health.

Max (Lizzie Lewis) has been sectioned and placed in a psychiatric ward. The play follows her as she embarks on her journey to recovery, although she is initially in denial as to whether she’s even ill at all.

The cast of Going Slightly Mad. Pic Big Mind Theatre

However, she begins to build relationships with the other patients. Anna (Tilly Botsford) who is bi-polar, Joey (Charlie O’brien) who has been sectioned as well, Leon (Levi Mattey) and James (Amelia Watson). All these patients get to know each other and learn from each other’s pasts and how they deal with their illnesses.

Although there is a big stigma around mental health, the production uses humour to get the message across that mental ill-health is just like any other illness and there shouldn’t be a black cloud around the topic.

This is successfully done by director and writer Michael Hajiantonis’s sharp script. He adds smart jokes that are relevant to society now and are guaranteed to raise a laugh. The production feels modern with its up to date references, jokes and the sound track used.


Furthermore, Katrina Wooley’s set is simple, which means you are not distracted by stage props. This enhances the production and makes it more appealing. Despite its simplicity, there is meaning behind it – above the six chairs on the stage a blackboard shows lots of random drawings, signifying what’s going around Max’s head as she has too many thoughts and can’t process them until she gets better.

Although Amelia Watson has no dialogue as James, her stage presence is strong. You can start to glimpse what is going in her mind, thanks to her body language and facial expression. Lizzie Lewis does a really good job of portraying Max, bringing out her physical and mental changes. This is especially noticeable when she is given a dose of medicine.

The rest of cast do a great job with fast-paced, clean scene changes and the hard job of changing into different supporting characters from one scene to the next.

At one point, Going Slightly Mad uses complex synchronised movements. Bearing in mind the story is already fast paced and they are performing the movement at the same speed, this moment is quite tense but it lets you really start picturing, to some extent, what Max is going through.

New and exciting writing that is fantastically well performed. Definitely worth a watch.

Running time: One hour and 10 minutes (no interval)
Bedlam Theatre, 11b Bristo Place, EH1 1EZ (Venue 49)
Friday 2 – Friday 16 August 2019.
Daily (not Mons): 2pm.
Tickets and details: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/going-slightly-mad

Instagram: @bigmindtheatre
Facebook: @BigMindTheatre


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Comments (1)

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  1. Michael Hajiantonis says:

    Thank you so much, Layza. We are really glad you enjoyed the play. You also understood it, which is more than I can say for some reviewers. All the best