A play that draws on interviews with people with lived experience of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), All The Rage is unique in its focus on some of the more humourous sides of this mental health diagnosis.
“Humour is central to this play, in both content and political ways,” says playwright, Daniel X. Harris. “The many dozens of people whose BPD stories inform this play are often very funny people, and even those who aren’t, many use humour as an important tool for surviving the ravages of this disorder.”
The play is just one of a number of research-related performances written by Daniel X Harris, with the aim of better sharing the less stereotypical experiences of those from minoritarian communities.
As Harris explains about the development process: “This play has benefited from several creative developments that have contributed to the production audiences will see here at TW. It started in 2020 when I interviewed 10 people living with BPD, online.
“They were inspiring, diverse, and passionate people who generously shared their stories and in some cases their friendship still. The participants all have reviewed their transcripts, and several are coming to the show.”
At the centre of the play is the relationship between Mel (Joanne Davis) and Mags (Alex Pinder). When Mel decides to turn his struggles with Borderline Personality Disorder into a stand-up comedy routine, it seems the lemons are finally turning into lemonade – until his ex, Mags, appears in the audience and wants to reconcile – as part of the routine. Love has never felt so much like heckling in the world premiere of this darkly hilarious slice of ramped-up life.
Melbourne director Deborah Leiser-Moore brings her visceral and affecting approach to the piece, integrating live music performed by accomplished cellist Adi Sappir and lighting designer Gina Gascoigne.
Director: Deborah Leiser-Moore | Featuring: Joanne Davis, Alex Pinder | Musician: Adi Sappir | Lighting Design: Gina Gasgoigne | Stage Manager: Kelly Chan | Intern: Sohniyia Selvaraj | Playwright & Producer: Dan X. Harris
All The Rage
Theatre Works, 14 Acland Sreett, St Kilda
Season: 29 June – 2 July 2022 (preview: 28 June)
Information and Bookings: www.theatreworks.org.au
Image: Alex Pinder and Joanne Davis feature in All The Rage – photo by Jodie Hutchison