Performer: Oli Bettesworth
Reviewer: Bethan Highgate-Betts
Oli Bettesworth has written a show about depression. The opening of which he admits that he recognises it is not the most sellable of stand-up topics. Nevertheless, he sets out to answer the most perplexing of question: “Why can’t everyone love you as much as you hate them?” Or at least to just scream it into the void.
A self-deprecating and earnest performer, Bettesworth tells anecdotes from his life and his experiences with depression. He includes the miraculous pieces of advice the people around him have offered him over the years, his favourite being ‘be happy’, which he equates to being as helpful as telling a diabetic to just not have diabetes anymore.
Interspersed with references to and quotes from French existentialism. Bettesworth takes moments from his own life, his work at an NHS hospice and his inability to hold down a relationship for longer than six months and presents them as beguilingly funny. These charming anecdotes are peppered with observations of the struggles of modern life, such as the doom of the end of a binged box-set.
Setting the audience at ease as he chats to them like an old friend, there is a kindness to Bettesworth’s style of performance that is rare among stand-up comedians and one that suits the subject matter.
Quietly hopeful and brilliantly funny, Bettesworth is a treat to spend an hour with.
Runs until 11 May 2017 | Image: Contributed
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