A Super Happy Story (About Being Super Sad) review by Shania Waterson
University of Derby student Shania Waterson gives her verdict on A Super Happy Story...
Upon entering the studio I noticed bright lights, a keyboard, and a creative set, which assured me this would be an interesting show. We were greeted by the main character, who was singing along to music and chatting to various audience members, with an extremely uplifting attitude. However, as the show started she reminded us that it had a very serious storyline.
The show told the story of Sally, a very happy girl who struggles with her mental health. Her life is going great, until her mum leaves for a few months, her friend stops talking to her, and her boyfriend leaves her. She soon decides to not take her A-Level exams, which results in her having to work in an extremely embarrassing job, where she has to go out in public, in a dog onesie. After a while, she decides that she needs to ask for help, and things start looking up, however it is soon made clear that depression doesn’t just ‘go away’. After an emotional breakdown and nearly taking her own life, Sally realises that she needs to learn to live with her depression, not against it. The show ended with Sally appreciating the things that make her happy, and going forward in life with an amazing job and surrounded by her friends and family.
Accompanying the story were mostly upbeat songs about depression and how Sally was feeling, which gave the emotional show a happy twist, but also reminded the audience that they were able to laugh and enjoy the performance. This twist reflects Silent Uproar’s mission statement of: ‘Creat(ing) playful and provocative new work by telling the stories that will make the world a little better’.
Overall, this was a fantastic production that really put into perspective the seriousness of depression and other mental health issues, whilst portraying it in a different and creative way. Unfortunately, Derby was the last date of their tour, however I look forward to seeing what Silent Uproar has coming up in the future.