• Amy Toledano

A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) Presented by Silent Uproar

Image courtesy of Sam Taylor

What is it?

A musical comedy that is super happy, super exciting story (except for all the bits about depression).

What's it all about?

Sally (Madelaine MacMahon) is going to change the world! And on the evening of her sixteenth birthday (not a minute before or after) it feels like everything is falling into place. However, even as the lead singing of her favourite band asks her to dance on stage, as well as finally talking to the one guy she has had a crush on for ages, Sally feels that something is not right. Everything inside her is going wrong and she can't understand why. And there is a reason for this. The reason is- there is no reason. Sally has depression.

As Sally tries to ignore the feelings that continue to build she finds herself down a dark tunnel that seems to have no end, and despite offers of help from family and friends, Sally is not getting better.

After some kind and honest advice from a stranger, Sally begins to realise that maybe she can get better and have the life she always wanted. Diving head first into her medication, counselling and therapies, Sally is on the up. She is feeling well again and things are aligning like they once did on her sixteenth birthday. Except that is the problem with depression, is doesn't care how good you are feeling. Getting to an even lower place than before, Sally finds herself having dark thoughts and pushing away those who care for her most.

It is not until Sally begins to accept her illness, and the fact that it is never really going away, that she begins to really understands how to live a life that feels pretty damn good.

How did it make me feel?

A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) never for a moment pretends that it isn't a story about depression. But what it does do, is perfectly encapsulate what it means to live with a mental illness that is totally debilitating. The cast are brilliant. with Sophie Clay and Ed Yelland creating the various characters that come in and out of Sally's life. Clay is particularly wonderful as her vibrant and clear characters are both charming and hilarious. Jon Brittain's writing is spot on and combined with Matthew Floyd Jones' wonderful score and clever direction from Alex Mitchell, the show is luminous even in it's darkest moments. McMahon is a wonder as Sally, lighting her up and bringing her down with an effortlessness that is stunning to witness.

Where Is It Playing?

The show is on at The Vaults, and although the sounds of trains overhead can sometimes be a distraction for the shows playing there, this time, it adds a haunting element that creates an atmosphere that is totally unique and beautiful.

Anything Else?

This show won't disappoint. And while the subject matter may be confronting, the message is clear. This needs to be talked about. There needs to be conversation and understanding of mental illness and A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) is a vibrant and original example of just this. See it with an open heart and a pocket full of tissues!

Amy x

A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) runs at The Vaults until the 3rd of May 2019.

If you like my reviews and want to support this blog feel free to buy me a virtual coffee here!