‘Hi, Anxiety’ by Debs Gatenby explores two people’s experience of mental illness.
With one in four of us estimated to experience mental illness, Debs Gatenby’s one woman show is a laugh out loud funny and poignant look at how mental illness affected her. And her mum. It’s two breakdowns for the price of one, an emotional meal deal.
From the moment Debs takes to the stage clad only in a Speedo swimsuit, knee high socks, swimming goggles and bobble hat to ride her bike all the way to sanity, you know you’re in the company of someone who’s able to bare all in a warm, funny and self-deprecating way.
A series of witty one-liners keep the story fast-paced and light of touch yet the painful legacy of mental illness in a mother-daughter relationship is never hidden.
An audience member remarked: “I never knew depression could be so entertaining.”
“I absolutely loved this one woman performance, which was a very funny reflection of mental health and Debs’ relationship with her constantly depressed mother. Her observational style captured the roller coaster that is mental health beautifully, both as the sufferer and its impact on the carer. The script flowed like the Stella and her performance was faultless.”
INTERVIEW: “Debs Gatenby has just driven across the Yorkshire Dales and, as this interview takes place, is staying at her mum’s. It’s an appropriate location, givien that the topic of conversation is Hi, Anxiety – a show Gatenby wrote based on her mother’s (and her own) struggles with mental health.”
“You were just amazing tonight Debs – I and others afterwards thought you’d stolen the show so far as our festival is concerned!”
Stephen Wrigley-Howe, Festival Director, Love Arts Festival York
“I never knew depression could be so entertaining”
“Devastating – in a good way”
“This felt like a rare, honest performance”
“Debs is a powerful storyteller”