I Was Kinda the Bad Guy @ The Laughing Horse (Brighton Fringe Festival 2023) Review

A lot of the time, we don’t even realise the psychological or emotional turmoil that we’re in – often hiding behind distractions to fight away the pain. The bonds we form around us a vital factor in possibly exploring this further and healing. Delving into this further with production I Was Kinda the Bad Guy, Jaz Johnson delivers a brooding drama very honestly exploring the impact of intervention and receiving a mental health diagnosis both on the individual and those around them. The topic of mental health the sole purpose of the piece which, perfectly pitched to a Gen Z demographic.

Best friends Diane (Jaz Johnson) and Nadine (Noah Martin) are inseparable, they’re bond so great – they instinctively know what the other is thinking. But with a bond so deep, what happens when previous toxic relationships and mental health issues threaten to disrupt the connection? Johnson captures Diane and Nadine’s close bond well – the show about the both of them, Diane more so, and how their interdependence impacts the show’s mood. Speeches steeped in lyricism, displaying Johnson’s love of poetry – this giving the show a distinct poetic quality. Lillian Waddington directs a cerebral hour, the show in a world of its own – part reality, part meta-reality, one encouraging the pursuit of thought and one’s feelings, labyrinthine.

Therapy is a recurrent feature, one that naturally encourages Diane to share how she’s truly feeling, and marks a place for us societally in regards to the normalisation of taking more care of our well-being and this is a great thing! With editing and refinement, I Was Kinda the Bad Guy has the power to move and truly connect!

Written by Lucy Basaba.

I Was Kinda the Bad Guy was shown on Saturday 20th, Sunday 21st, Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th May 2023 at The Laughing Horse as part of this year’s Brighton Fringe Festival. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop