In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a long-lived bird that obtains new life by arising from the ashes and is born again.
This show ‘I’m a Phoenix, Bitch’ confused me – I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Why was she a phoenix or a bitch?
After about 15 minutes into the show, I started to think – this is going to be boring, but I was totally wrong.
My first impression was that the one-woman show was self-obsessed with some light-hearted typical comedy.
She spoke about her previous shows which involved a lot of sex and drinking excessively for a week to determine if she was more creative drunk or sober.
What I didn’t expect was her then brutally honest rollercoaster ride into parenthood.
Bryony Kimmings shared an incredibly raw and honest performance.
This wasn’t fiction – it was real life.
At times, her insight into post-natal depression made me feel uncomfortable.
I think as a society we sugar-coat and are almost obsessed with being happy.
This performance was hauntingly dark.
The pain she endured when her relationship broke down, to discovering that her son was ill, and she herself was sick with post-natal depression was palpable.
Sometimes the cards life throws us is just bad luck – we can’t blame ourselves.
The audience was moved to tears.
The use of film and media to depict her experience was incredible.
She commanded the stage with simple but effective props and an angelic voice like Adele.
I felt grateful to see her put a spotlight on such a personal and sensitive issue.
It was like we were taken into her head or a private therapy session.
There were no taboos.
It was all part of her healing journey and she does get better, otherwise, the show would have been super weird… if it could get any weirder!
I appreciated this show more and more as I left the building.
I don’t know if I’d recommend the show to someone who is thinking of having their first baby.
But then again, maybe it’s the sort of show they should see because having a baby isn’t always roses, and often we don’t talk about the hard stuff.
It’s not a feel-good piece of theatre, but it is such an important, unique and powerful tale.