birdy: A Sweet Sadness

Comedy, Drama, Monologue, New Work

What would it be like to meet your kindergarten teacher for a coffee right after she got out of treatment for anxiety and depression? It would be like watching “birdy”. Karie Richards wrote and performs this one-woman monologue piece about Birdy’s worries and family history, one and the same really.

With precision Richards portrays the anxious and somewhat hopeful Birdy, a woman haunted by her past and nearly unable to live in her present. Jeff Culbert, a veteran director on the Fringe circuit, directs the show.

Richards’ sweet voice, blonde hair, cardigan and bright crayon red and blue outfit belie the dark memories she shares and the angled lights of the Origins Organic Coffee stage sharpen Richards’ features as to heighten the anxiety she conveys so well. Perhaps that’s why the show has such a sadness, the stark contrasts Birdy brings. And while the piece hums with all this nervous, sad energy, the hints of humour and hope peppered throughout give the show the levels it needs to entice its audience.

The play’s honesty and unexpected universality make it powerful, its contrasts make it sad and its humour make it hopeful.

By Josephine Mitchell