In 2016, Bryony Kimmings nearly drowned. Postnatal breakdowns, an imploding relationship and an extremely sick child left her sitting beneath the waves hoping she could slowly turn to shell. Three years later and she is able to deal with life again, but wears the scars of that year like a dark and heavy cloak.
“My shows are usually born out of me going: We don’t talk about this enough, this is problematic in terms of a political or feminist narrative,” says Kimmings. “My hope with this show is to give the almost unspeakable traumas associated with postnatal depression and an ill child a voice.”
“I wanted to create a show that cuts to the heart of these things but does it in a way that people can relate to, a way that we can still laugh and have fun.”
One of the UK’s most significant performance makers, Kimmings combines personal stories with epic film and original pop songs, this is a powerful, dark and joyous tour de force. Renowned for her autobiographical works, I’m A Phoenix, Bitch explores questions of “who do we become after trauma, how do we turn pain into power and how do we fly instead of drown?”
Her show sees a new legend created, that of the invincible and fearless woman, a tale Kimmings wishes she had known from birth.
I’m A Phoenix, Bitch was first developed at Arts Centre Melbourne’s inaugural sector development program The Kiln in 2017. Inspired by the taboos, stigmas, anomalies and social injustices around her, Kimmings creates mind-blowing, multiplatform art works to provoke change.
The work centres on outlandish ‘social experiments’ that Kimmings conducts with genuine genius, intrigue and wholehearted fearless gusto. Previous works have seen her retracing an STI to its source, spending seven days in a controlled environment in a constant state of intoxication and becoming a pop star invented by a nine-year-old.
Her past works include Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model (Theatre Works / FOLA), Sex Idiot (Theatre Works /MICF) Fake it til you Make it (Theatre Works / MICF) and A Pacifist’s Guide to the War of Cancer (Malthouse Theatre).
Kimming’s award-winning work has toured the world, most recently to BAGrandhall, Antifest (Finland), Culturgest (Portugal), Fusebox Festival (Texas), The Southbank Centre, Melbourne International Comedy Festival (Australia) and Lisinski Operahouse (Croatia).
I’m a Phoenix, Bitch
Fairfax Studio – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 11 – 15 September 2019
Information and Bookings: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
Playhouse – Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Cultural Precinct, South Bank (Brisbane)
Season: 18 – 21 September 2019
Information and Bookings: www.brisbanefestival.com.au
Image: Bryony Kimmings in I’m a Phoenix Bitch – photo by The Other Richard