–Hannah Gilbey contributed to this report.
Performing artist Bryony Kimmings will be breaking boundaries on Friday, March 9th, with a show that tests the link between alcoholism and creativity. 7 Day Drunk will be hitting the LPAC theatre next month as part of a nationwide tour, before reaching London’s Soho Theatre.
The show sees Bryony, who had a rocky relationship with drink as she tried to fuel her artistic creativity, investigate how alcohol really affects the mind and body.
“I was living with an alcoholic. She was a writer and I was a performance artist, and we’d have long conversations about her problems and my problems with alcohol. We talked about whether it actually helped us, in that kind of historical, romantic view of the struggling artist,” she said.
“I said right, I’ll prove it that I wasn’t a better artist when I was drunk – I met the scientists and created the experiment.”
The show takes audiences through her journey as a seven-day drunk. It also investigates the link between drinking and creativity, using laughter, jokes and songs, as well as analysing the real effects of alcohol.
“We devised this experiment where I would get drunk at different levels each day, and I’d make work and an audience would come and watch it and score it,” she explained.
“I wasn’t allowed to make any new material for the show. It had to be the material that was created when drunk. The story threads through how it started, what happened, and what the results were.”
However the show is also incredibly touching, as it follows not just the story of Bryony but also her alcoholic housemate, Amy.
The audience will also be involved throughout the performance, with one female participant being invited to drink during the show to help analyse the side effects of alcohol. However Bryony explains that it’s not as shocking as it sounds.
“The girl is asked some questions and she’s only taken just over drink drive level. That sort of amount of alcohol gets you in a giddy, dizzy state, just kind of floppy and quite funny but still with it. We offer them a taxi on the way home and make sure they’re okay. We breathalyse her and chat to her throughout the show. We’re very nice to her. It’s more like, “Oh god isn’t it embarrassing to get drunk!”
Bryony is also the creator of Sex Idiot, a show which has met much acclaim from critics and became a sell out at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe. “If you like having fun and will laugh at someone doing something quite outrageous then you’ll probably laugh at me,” she laughed. “There’s lots of audience participation, there’s snogging, and there’s a bit of a party at the end!”
Tickets for 7 Day Drunk at the LPAC are available now, priced at £10 for normal entry, £8 for concessions and £5 for under 26’s and students. Tickets and more information are also available from the Engine Shed box office and the LPAC website.Tweet