Photos – Matt Byrne

Every Brilliant Thing is simply a brilliant thing!

Commanding and captivating the audience’s rapt attention, and charming us into participation, Jimi Bani turned a one man show into a community event, with the gentlest and most beguiling involvement at some level, of every person in the packed theatre.  

This seasoned actor’s performance is authentic, perceptive and enticing, as he unveils an intimate story of a young man’s life from the age of seven through the joys and the bumps, and the anguish and imaginings of a boy growing to adulthood. 

Bani has a remarkable ability to relate stories and to present issues with humour and depth, whether funny, tragic or in between, so that people feel so involved that he seems to be actually telling his own personal story. The story is punctuated with snippets of well-chosen music, (by Sound Designer Andrew Howard) as he discovers his mother’s mental health struggles and suicidal attempts. The story also is structured around a central feature: The List – of all sorts of brilliant, wonderful things in life, varying from icecream to waking up next to someone you love.

Important points are made with humour and respect, using the context of changing relationships.  For example, broken things can not always be fixed, not everything is brilliant, but things can get better; and that suicide can be contagious, and it’s natural for children of suicidal parents to blame themselves, and that it’s always better to talk to someone about it.

The themes in this play are important and last far longer than the performance. This performance itself is uplifting and inspiring, showing that there are many things in life that are simply brilliant, and human connection can help to bring us through the bleakest challenges. That this can be said is a credit to the actor, the Director (Yasmin Gurreeboo), the writers and the whole production team, for a thoroughly uplifting, enjoyable and poignant theatrical experience.

Event details

State Theatre Company of SA presents
Every Brilliant Thing
by Duncan MacMillan with Johnny Donohoe

Director Yasmin Gurreeboo

Venue: The Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre | King William Road, Adelaide SA
Dates: 28 April – 13 May 2023

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