Bryony Kimmings asks whether being a drunk makes you a better artist in her new performance piece.
Bryony Kimmings has steadily been building a reputation as performance’s new danger woman, notoriously creating a moustache out of pubic hair in her last show, the Total Theatre award-winning Sex Idiot. Seven Days Drunk sees Bryony continuing to plough in the same subversive furrow, she decided to make a performance detailing her, you guessed it, seven days spent drunk!
Kimmings is an arresting sight onstage, dressed in a blaze of cellophane, shoulder pads and tranny high heels. At first she is intimidating, with a certain old-school drag queen quality, the audience don’t feel quite safe as she calls for people to take part in the show. Thankfully there is a generosity that shines through, the audiences are treated as mates and confidantes as she documents her boozy journey via videos, dance and demonstrations.
The main purpose of the show was to investigate whether alcohol made Kimmings a better artist and for this she called upon some slightly dubious scientific testing and consulted with some obligatory ‘experts’. While this was diverting, it didn’t really shed much new light onto the subject, and no defining conclusion was reached. What I wanted to see more of was Kimming’s dancing and her free-wheeling monologuing. A particularly evocative moment detailed a night out with the girls that spiralled into breaking into a Lido on pills. There was some gorgeous writing or improv on show here and for me this illustrated the themes of the show far better than any video or audience contribution could.
I plan on seeing this show again in Edinburgh and am keen to see how it evolves through it’s final stage. Kimmings is a simultaneously charming and in-your-face performer, and while I may not grasp fully what she is trying to say, she sure can sell it.