Speaking about her issues with mental health and the make or break moments that have changed her life, Burton seems like the type of person everybody would want in their life. This was carried through the show and I feel privileged to have experienced it. She successfully translated very serious issues that are often hushed in society anecdotally, let alone personally, in a fashion that stimulated and engaged each different audience member – a feat in itself, particularly considering the sensitive subject matter. The use of audio effects and projected visuals kept all senses heightened, and whilst the show has the potential to be viewed through a primarily academic lens, or conversely a purely emotive one, its multiple dimensions make it accessible to all.
Why we are so suspicious of kindness is something I struggle with a lot. On the one hand, I try my best brighten the lives of those around me, acting with empathy for both strangers and loved ones – life is short so they say. But, on the other hand, kindness can really freak people out – myself included. There is often subtext or expectation; it can feel awkward and exposing. Burton knows all of this, and films it.
From an emotional point of view, this show was spot on. Realistically, a show cannot be good without causing a reaction and this one did that from before I walked in the door. Whilst queuing every audience member was given a slip of paper on which we were to write a dare for stranger to engage in an act of kindness, (#DareToBeKind). To find out more about this I urge you to go and see it, and if that is not possible then please check out the hashtag and be mindful in your kindness.
It transpired throughout the show that its inception came from Burton repeatedly being told 'be kind to yourself' and the panic and fear that came with that. She suggests that we're kind to others to fill a void within ourselves but actually our motives for kindness are often unimportant if the act itself expects nothing in return.
Burton's concepts, intentions and content were all entirely convincing and provocative in a memorable show that will keep me thinking. Juliette Burton: Butterfly Effect – intelligent, emotional, liberating and frightening – everything it should be.
For tickets and further information visit the Fringe Website.