4/5 Stars

★★★★ Laughing at Depression

Jasper Cunningham-Ward reviews Laura Lexx: Trying at Edinburgh Fringe

Laura Lexx speaks from her own experience as she explores depression and anxiety. Her show is unabashedly upfront about sensitive issues like antidepressants, helping break the stigma. Laura explains how trying for a baby left her depressed and opens up her harrowing experiences for the audience. She cleverly dispels various misconceptions about her as a depressed person, a stand-up comic and a woman trying for a baby.

Laura masterfully reads and plays to her audience. Tension is created and dispelled effortlessly, and roars of laughter are followed by gaping silences. The nature of the topics may not seem the ripest for comedy, but to her massive credit Laura captures both the comedy and tragedy of her situation and these two sides seem to fit together naturally; her quips about shopping at Lush are well crafted and thought out, and the tender moments of sadness that follow fit perfectly. Laura bursts with energy and sorrow simultaneously and the audience can’t help but be infected by both.

The show gives the audience a deep insight into how Laura’s anxious mind has latched onto climate change as its issue of choice. Laura shares her rational but helpless anxieties over unnecessary plastic and carbon footprints in a poignant and thought-provoking way. The show is topical not just for its frank openness about mental health, but also for addressing climate change and overpopulation.

This is a truly witty and masterfully crafted show about one woman’s experience of modern life and struggles with mental illness. The show clearly comes from a very raw genuine place, as Laura is nearly reduced to tears whilst performing. Laura Lexx maybe trying in lots of aspects of her life, but as a stand-up comic she is succeeding.

Categories: 4/5 Stars, review

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