• Beccy Golding

REVIEW: The Depression Cure Show ★★

The Depression Cure Show bills itself as ‘therapy, but not as we know it’ and ‘a tonic for all’. A great hook to draw people in.





The Depression Cure Show bills itself as ‘therapy, but not as we know it’ and ‘a tonic for all’. A great hook to draw people in.


This is a lecture-style comedy show – not quite a PowerPoint presentation but centre stage is a series of projected images and videos, with Jonathan Winfield to one side, behind a lectern. I would have liked more direct contact with the interesting human that was before us, rather than such a focus on the screen.

Winfield plays bass in a blues band and introduces himself with the phrase ‘12 bar blues – 12 steps – 12 years sober’. A great conceit, which conveys a lot of information very neatly, and gets a round of congratulatory applause. So, we get twelve sections of the show, each introduced with a blues riff. That’s a lot of content to get into one-hour – it’s fast-paced and could maybe do with more space and an edit.


When the jokes cross over into lazy sexism I’m not so onboard.

Winfield begins with some excellently awful groan-inducing puns, and warns us to expect a smattering of double entendres – I’ll happily go along with that, but when the jokes cross over into lazy sexism I’m not so onboard.


Winfield, half English-half Aussie, tells us he grew up with a ‘frequently suicidal’ mother who was regularly hospitalized through his childhood, and that this sowed the seeds for his own mental health issues. I would have liked more of his story, to get to know him a little more – it must be a tough balance – the show hinges on this experience and we need some details but understand that details can need protecting.


The pre-show blurb promises therapy puppets. I’m excited, then a tad disappointed that the puppets are on film, not live. Having said that, these are my favourite parts of the show. Using the device of children’s TV classic Play School (shelved in 1988 but the under 40s in the audience probably got the gist) we adventure through different windows - in the original we went through the round window or the square window, here we go with Sparks the Baby Dragon through the Dissociative Disorder Window – good jokes and I was interested to learn, through conversations with puppets, about the triggers and possible ways to heal these different states - more of this!


The vision of Prince Andrew thrusting his cod piece at the audience is a joke too soon for me.

Bar 11 is for vulnerability and authenticity – and we skip through it in just a few seconds. Maybe we were running out of time but this feels representative of the show – sharing stories of inherited depression and mental ill health is vulnerable, we need to feel some empathy and care for the storyteller, but there just didn’t feel like there was time. I missed it.

I could have done with missing the last section too; dressed in lycra and an oversized sports box, Winfield donned masks of various Royals while dancing – I’m afraid the vision of Prince Andrew thrusting his cod piece at the audience is a joke too soon for me.


This is a show bursting with potential. I wonder if an outside eye or a critical friend could help to get it to where it could be.



★★


The Depression Cure Show was performed by Jonathan Winfield and presented by Joymaker Productions at The Little Theatre Cinema from the 3rd - 5th June 2022, as part of Bath Fringe Festival.


Follow Jonathan Winfield on Facebook & Twitter.


Beccy Golding is a Bristol-based poet, fool, writer and arts administrator. She has recently created a brand new spoken word night for older / aging / elder women, called Stone the Crones.

Daily poetry at @FridayIsPoetsDay

@stonethecrones on all the socials

beccygolding.co.uk

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