Short run for Psycho Bitch in Kensington ends today
Calling yourself a Psycho Bitch is one thing. Telling your personal story to a live audience about your battles with mental illness is quite another. Combine the two and you've got a cathartic, intense performance, starring writer/performer Tamara Lynn Robert.
Psycho Bitch is billed as "a comedic tale of a mood disordered, medicated, sweetheart of a mess." Playing for just three performances at Kensington Market's intimate Electric Theatre, it's a must-see for anyone who's known someone living with mental illness.
Psycho Bitch tells the story of Robert's journey towards healing on a bumpy road paved with stigma and misdiagnoses of her bipolar disorder. Along the way, we get a glimpse into the highs and lows that -- while told in an often humorous, candid way -- resonate and connect on a deep level.
She spins tales of her Guardian Angel Geraldine, trips to out-of-touch therapists and self-help sessions that involve Motown music, bubble baths and dark chocolate. The storytelling is brutally honest and constantly engaging.
I missed this show's Toronto debut at The Fringe Festival in 2010. But I'm sure glad I braved the snowstorm on Friday night to take in this show. It reminded me how important a role we all play in the lives of those with mental illness; those who rely on us to show them support, understanding and friendship on their journey to healing.
The 50-minute performance is followed by a short break, then a meet-and-greet/ Q&A where the audience is encouraged to stick around and ask Robert questions or comment about their experience with mental illness. After all, as the last line in the play goes, "Aren't we all a little fucked up?"
This three-night run of Psycho Bitch at The Electric Theatre is in support of the Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youthline. Tickets are $15, or $10 for artists/youth/seniors/students/underemployed. The last show is today's Sunday matinee at 3pm.
Photos by Roger Cullman.