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Edinburgh Fringe 2015

My Beautiful Black Dog

Boom Shakalaka Productions

Genre: Musical Theatre

Venue: Underbelly Cowgate


Low Down

Brigitte Aphrodite, and Quiet boy, portray depression using songs, humour, and a lot of glitter.


Brigitte Aphrodite portrays her own experience of Depression through song, dance, and glitter. Part theatre, part music gig Aphrodite performs with Quiet Boy and sets out to rase awareness of the issue of depression and to have a little fun with it.

The things she talks and sings about will have relevance for a lot of people, seeing only half of the audience laugh at certain moments perhaps proves that it works on two levels, for those who have experienced it those moments feel very real and for those who have not it is simply entertaining. The portrayal of the medical system in place right now is very accurate and there are moments that are painfully true but at times it appears too comical for the subject matter. Treating it too lightly can have the opposite effect and lead people to not take depression as a serious matter. The darker moments need to be much darker to create a very noticeable contrast between the fun she provides and the moments of nothingness and despair. Doing this will strengthen the messages within the performance and provide a richer experience for all types of audiences.

Aphrodite is a very likeable and endearing character, as is Quiet Boy, and she portrays the complexities of character and of the illness very well. The box she sometimes closes herself into is a powerful visual of what it can be like and the voicemails from family and friends that play at one point push home the point of the show. The glitter, balloons and general party atmosphere is infectious, as are the catchy songs that capture all aspects of depression.

There is potential for a strong show that highlights what those with Depression face and debunks some myths however it is lacking in that depth right now and requires some polishing up to get it to the next level. For those who have experience of the ‘black dog’ this may fall slightly flat as it does not quite create the feeling – or lack of feeling – depression brings. A show of this kind should have audiences really thinking on the content yet leaving with a smile on their face which was clearly the intention.