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Theatre Review: Fake It 'Til You Make It ****

Michael Cox reviews a production 'full of heart and wit'.

Fake It ‘Til You Make It could have easily been an ego trip from a couple fanning their lives out onstage for all to revel in. Thankfully, it is instead a beautiful theatrical poem that looks at a couple’s life and what happens when one of them is revealed to have depression.

The fact that Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn are an actual couple sharing intimate details of their lives makes for a performance that quickly becomes endearing. Complicating things is that, while Kimmings is an accomplished performer with an excellent reputation, Grayburn actually works in advertising and is new to performing on stage.

Mixing music, dance, audio recordings and symbolic representations of emotions, the play is a theatrical hodgepodge that might be a little too messy on the dramaturgical level for its own good. However, on an emotional level the production is an utter winner. The frustration that the couple feel towards Grayburn’s illness, and the tenderness that Kimmings shows at moments of emotional confessions, makes for an experience that is funny and uplifting but also contains just enough pathos to bring about an aura of sincerity.

Moments when the couple occasionally slip and turn to each other for support (whether scripted or not) always come across as genuine, as does the final moment where, standing together, they address the audience with a message of hope and acceptance.

Does the title perhaps give a clue as to how they are truly feeling about all this? Perhaps, but that doesn’t matter; Fake It is a wonderfully moving and humane production full of heart and wit.

Fake It 'Til You Make It performs at the Traverse until August 30, 2015. Check website for dates and times.

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