After a late start Bryony Kimmings is on stage - welcoming audience members to the auditorium and even inviting some to take a seat on stage where some additional places have been set out on both sides, making Kimmings surrounded and giving the show an intimate feel.
Over the next 70 minutes or so, the audience are treated to the highlights of Kimming’s investigation in a controlled environment as to whether or not there is a genuine link between creativity and alcohol. The idea of artists being inspired to create masterpieces whilst under the influence is not a new concept, however it is interesting to see whether or not being continually drunk does produce better art.
Kimmings is quite frank about some of her experiences with alcohol and while they are largely amusing, it does serve as a reminder of the trouble alcohol can cause and the situations we can find ourselves in easily when having consumed too much. She also uses video clips of a friend of hers talking about her alcoholism in very open and honest way which is interesting and gives the show some credibility and depth.
The show is performed entirely sober, however our host relives some of her experiences in the controlled environment, recreates some of the ‘art’ she created and shows video clips of the time she spent under observation with mixed results. Some of clips impart interesting results in terms of Kimmings emotional state while being kept consistently drunk but little is made of the results of the study and the significance of the controlled environment fizzles out without any sort of really conclusion other than being drunk does not necessarily make a better artist.
Despite having physiologists and GPs in attendance, as well as a live audience daily, nothing really is made of their opinions or views on the study and it serves simply as a vessel for Kimmings to fool about onstage for an hour or so but somehow she just about pulls it off.
The success of the show lies with Kimmings’ personality rather than the content the show which in places is scattershot in its approach and ill thought out. She carries the audience along with her largely self-indulgent tale with real presence and the skill of a seasoned story teller, even though the content runs out of steam by the time that last orders is called.