An intrepid, risky show devoid of self-preservation by The Hiccup Projects, successfully derails preconceptions of vulnerability and mental health.

“Hello! It’s life here. I know you’ve had a lot of sh*t on recently, but just to let you know… There’s actually going to be a bit more sh*t coming, I’m afraid.”

We’ve all been there, ploughing through tough times with a forced clown smile smacked across our chops under the delusion that we’re holding things together, when suddenly the juggling act fails and everything gets that little bit tougher.

Cristina MacKerron and Chess Dillon-Reams are The Hiccup Project; a Brighton-based comedic theatre-dance duo who have set out to explore how we handle ourselves when things aren’t ‘going okay’ through their latest work, It’s Okay, I’m Dealing With It. Created and devised from their own personal experiences, the show takes a disarming investigation into the meaning of vulnerability through a series of segmented physical sketches.

The Hiccup Project, Miro Magazine

Image courtesy of Tim Andrews

Both Dillon-Reams and MacKerron are dynamic, accomplished performers with remarkable chemistry; the type of bond that could have only been formed through a long-standing friendship. Comparable to French and Saunders, the pair bounce off one another incessantly, with more funny faces, funny voices and physical comedy than you can shake a stick at.

Despite this, their style of play takes a while to accept. Such confident direct address and their larger-than-life personas are painfully revealing. It’s a fierce depiction of what can happen when mental illness attacks and we find ourselves heading off-script and acting out of character. But you do eventually bend to the discomfort of their work which defies theatrical convention in every sense.

The Hiccup Project, Miro Magazine

Image courtesy of Tim Andrews

When together, the duo are brutally funny, outrageous and untouchable; when separate, they are disarmed, defenceless and we are voyeurs to their struggle. In particular, Dillon-Reams’ solo dance piece is utterly absorbing, suppressing a chortling audience in seconds. It is one of the most emotionally charged sequences I have ever seen on stage.

In a culture that prides itself on pretending everything is okay, The Hiccup Project presents an intrepid, risky show, entirely devoid of a sense of self-preservation to successfully derail any preconceptions of vulnerability, mental health and live performance.

 

★★★★☆

To read more about It’s Okay, I’m Dealing With It, which is currently on its first UK tour, follow the theatre on Twitter (@TheHiccupProj) or visit the website – thehiccupproject.com