Performance Performing Arts

Review: Every Brilliant Thing (Theatrethreesixty, 2016)

Duncan McMillan and Jonny Donahoe’s one-man play about depression glimmers in the hands of its strong Malaysian performers.

Written by Duncan McMillan & Jonny Donahoe
Directed by Christopher Ling

Starring Qahar Aqilah

When the unnamed protagonist of Theatrethreesixty‘s Every Brilliant Thing reads out his marvelous list of life’s treasures, audiences are kept on their toes. At any second, one of them must help call out entries. Obtained minutes prior to doors opening, these entries are laminated and bound together with keyrings, clinical in the hands of viewers. But of course. In Every Brilliant Thing, a man who grew up with a suicidal mother tries to make sense of his upbringing and relationships. Depression and self-harm has quietly taken its toll on his psyche, but there is reprieve in the form of his oft-recurring list. It’s basically therapy: Duncan McMillan and Jonny Donahoe chart the giddy highs and harrowing lows of its leading man’s life via insightful musings, a smouldering jazz soundtrack, and more or less twenty audience members. It’s impossible not to be affected. The witty, wistful script comes to life with naught more than a white backdrop and a couple of props; Christopher Ling‘s leanings for clean, stark visuals keeps the session focused on story and character development. Reliable performances from it’s one-man cast and audience members — theatre practitioners Soon Heng Lim and Sandee Chew were among guests ambushed with onstage roles to delightful results — easily make this one of the year’s most impactful stagings.


Every Brilliant Thing runs from 10 – 20 November at Theatrethreesixty at Tommy Le Baker, A-1-5, Viva Residence, 3rd Mile Jalan Ipoh, 51200 Kuala Lumpur. Secure yourself tickets to the show via Tixipro and make sure to check out Theatrethreesixty on Facebook for more details.

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