Interrupting a Crisis
Review by Susie Conte
Georgina Cramond as Ribs is a songwriter who shapes a story about anxiety, Interrupting a Crisis, around songs she wrote at different times in her crisis. In the director’s notes, Finn O’Branagain draws parallels with the anxiety of performing and the ‘performativity of anxiety,’ which is an interesting concept. A lot of people, including a high proportion of artists, suffer from anxiety and we can relate to many of the general and specific anxieties that the show brings up.
Interrupting a Crisis explores how one woman finds ways to deal with her anxieties. Upon recommendation from her mother, who can’t cope with her condition, Georgina sees a therapist who is able to make her see that anxiety is not who she is, but what she suffers from. The act of songwriting allows Georgina to name her fears and work through them. Cramond has a lovely, strong, ballsy voice that belies her petite stature.
She enters the stage dressed in a magnificent jacket made of tinsel. The simple set, designed by Clare Testoni, holds a Casio piano and a disco ball that throws lights on the walls. To the side, a see-through plastic chair serves to show us the therapist’s office. Projections on the walls of bubbles and M&Ms add to a warped party atmosphere. They are meant to mirror her internal feelings, but they seemed distracting at times.
Cramond is an engaging performer, at times very funny. It seems quite a simplified, Millennial take on the problems of anxiety and it would have been nice to dig a little deeper. I really wanted to engage with her character but the more it went on, the more I disengaged. From a strong beginning with panic attacks, which actually made me feel anxious and keen to see where she would take us, the story follows a fairly standard ‘it’ll all be fine in the end’ style.
There is a slight problem of tone in the show; the writing feels overly-simplified, although with some occasional great flourishes, and the songs are good but samey. It sometimes feels like the open night mic night at the Rosemount Hotel that Cramond references, but as a theatrical piece, I wasn’t convinced.
That being said, I liked Cramond and she is a talented performer. I would like to see where she goes from here in her songwriting and performing. The audience laughed uproariously at times, and half gave her a standing ovation, so perhaps it is a question of different tastes.
Interrupting a Crisis runs at The Blue Room Theatre until June 3rd. For tickets and more information, visit the Blue Room website here.