Written by Marina Bye



Probably one of the most soothing things for mental illness is escape. I know from my own experience of anxiety and depression, when the thoughts become hectic, it's hard to focus on anything and you can often feel like you’re lost and pretty isolated.

Coming from my own experience (everyone's mental health has its own flavour and colour) I’ve often found that when depression or anxiety start to take over, comedy can be a light. It can pull you out of yourself and make you realise there is laughter and joy even in the darkest of moments and sometimes comedy can even be at its best when it comes from darkness. Yes, it can be hard for the performer to go there, but when the audience laugh, it’s a reminder that we all in some way or another can relate to each other, which in turn can make you feel like you’re not alone. This is something pretty immaculate. It opens a door for people to see that we are all human and we all see the weird and ridiculous things that life presents us. Whether it’s mundane or tragic or wonderful.

More often than not, the comedy you see is from the performer's own mind and thoughts. This is unlike many other forms of performance. It’s vulnerable. Speaking your own words and trying to make an audience laugh with you is single handedly one of the most naked things you can do on stage. But, with vulnerability comes surrendering and to surrender means you live in the moment and embrace everything. To feel this can be a great gift. Allowing the moment to take you and in that way hopefully can pull you out of the dark. Even if just for a moment but being able to give and receive that moment is something very special.

Siblings: Siblage is heading to the Edinburgh Fringe this August. Tickets available from www.tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/siblings-siblage.