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Festival Review: Life is No Laughing Matter ****

Michael Cox reviews 'a standout production with a standout performance' about mental health.

When is a one-woman show not a one-woman show? When a performer has her husband onstage for moral support (and occasional set piece shifts) and has her dog make a charming cameo.

Demi Nandhra’s Life is No Laughing Matter is a wonderful production. Looking at her battle with depression, Nandhra takes the audience through pivotal moments from her life as she charts her understanding of the way she’s been feeling.

Personal journeys about mental health issues are (as the production jokes) quite common on the Fringe. What makes Nandhra’s production unique is her absolute openness in her continuous journey with depression and in the way she is able to balance the comedy with the poignant while narrating these moments. And Nandhra herself is a very engaging performer: she’s empathetic yet filled with a cheeky sense of humour that never allows for things to become too difficult.

Nandhra (along with husband Aaron and dog Yoko) make for brilliant company, and Life is a production that asks much more important questions than it first appears. It’s a standout production with a standout performance.

Life is No Laughing Matter has finished its run at Summerhall.

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