In Greek mythology, the phoenix is a majestic bird which cyclically burns itself in fire before being reborn from its own ashes. Inspired by this sense of rebirth, performance artist Bryony Kimmings takes us on a visually striking journey, deep into the abyss of post-natal depression.
Drawing entirely from her personal experience, Bryony addresses the audience directly, talking of her year of doom, 2016. Having returned from a long and successful world tour with her then partner Tim, the pair set down roots, renting a cottage in the countryside and starting a family. Following the birth of their son Frank, a sense of loneliness started growing within her, which soon escalated into obsessive fears for her baby’s welfare. As this turned into a psychosis, hallucinations were further fuelled by her state of isolation. Too ashamed that she was falling short in her maternal role, she failed to speak up, leading to her mental health deteriorating even more. This in turn lead to increasingly frequent arguments that ate away at her relationship. Eventually, the breaking point arrived when Frank became severely ill, requiring a long spell in hospital.
Backwall projections, music and an elaborate set are used to recreate the violent emotions of those crucial moments. Tormented by the guilt for her baby’s critical health and suffocated by a sense of impotence, Bryony wanders in the woods around her cottage, wearing a blood-stained nightgown. A ghostly silhouette immersed in an eerie place sinks deeper and deeper into the delusional fantasies of her mental disorder.
Fortunately, this is a show about rebirth. Those daunting images are promptly replaced by the positive energy of a woman who burned to the ground only to return stronger and brighter. Finally, unafraid to share those bleak memories, she hopes that with her powerful work she can inspire other women to do the same. And, as the consummate artist she is, she manages to transform even the darkest hour of her life into this amazing performance.
Written and Performed by: Bryony Kimmings
Producer: Avalon Promotions
Box Office: +44 (0)131 226 0000
Booking Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/bryony-kimmings-i-m-a-phoenix-bitch
Booking Until: 25 August 2019