First Fortnight, The Art of Mental Health Festival, is in its full swing with a whole bunch of creative and educative events taking place all over the country: anything from music to dance, theatre and workshops are brought to the public in order to expand the general awareness of mental health.
Big Bobby, Little Bobby is a one-woman play written by Camille Lucy Ross and Kelly Shatter. This already highly acclaimed piece of Irish theatre by Brazen Tales Productions brings us into the world of Roberta (or Bobby), a nice, but very shy and insecure girl who has just moved out of her mother’s home to live alone. A child of not a very caring mother who always uses her daughter as the punchline for all her jokes, there is indeed not much space left for growing Bobby’s confidence. And just like anyone else, Bobby (played by Camille Lucy Ross) has unconsciously nurtured her own demons. One in particular. His name is Little Bobby. He lives in Big Bobby’s head and only comes out to let Bobby know how miserable, unlovable and pathetic she is. He never fails to remind Bobby that she is a loser and he is with her only because nobody else will.
But everything changes when Bobby falls in love. For the first time in a long and lonely life, there is hope that something might change for the better for Bobby. She just doesn’t know about it yet.
This one hour piece beautifully portrays what it is like to live with “a voice in your head” which is a constant reminder of your meaningless existence. And the way it’s shown in the play is very organic and easy to relate to. Just like Bobby says it herself “Life is difficult for everyone. Everyone has his own demons.”
In a wonderfully created combination of sound, light and movement we can see the transition of Big Bobby into Little Bobby. Camille Lucy Ross is a fantastic performer who knows well her craft and never ceases to surprise her audience. Her incredible ability to portray (both vocally and physically) a whole bunch of contrasting characters all throughout the play simply stuns the audience. It’s also hilariously funny. Every single character comes alive in an amazingly fleshed person, not caricature.
The play plays with your mind in a such a way that at times it makes you question whether it’s the same person on stage or not.
Being the winner of First Fortnight award (at Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival in 2015) another great thing about Big Bobby Little Bobby is that the play is presented as a comedy. It’s a very enjoyable and engaging watch with an important message. And any important information is much better perceived through laughter and humour.
Big Bobby Little Bobby runs until January 9, for more info or to book tickets, please visit: http://projectartscentre.ie/event/big-bobby-little-bobby/