Theatre Review: Hold Your Breath (Count to Ten) is Honest and Meaningful
Welcome to the watery world of Daley King, a man who lives with and is a wealth of knowledge on a plethora of mental illnesses. The Blue Room's latest show, Hold Your Breath (Count To Ten), is a play about a play about the way a man's mind is so often its own worst enemy. This one is humorous but personal. You'd better come with an empty stomach; it's a lot to digest.
With a de-linear, cyclical, fragmented, episodic structure that seems to reflect the chaos of Daley's reality, this story is slightly hard to follow. It swings between heightened moments of dramatised performance, involving both lights and sounds, and lethargically recited lists insisted upon by Daley's psychologist (Amy Murray). Their relationship seems to be hollowed by the circumstances in which they meet, to discuss Daley's 'issues', and in a play about the importance of conversations theirs carries very little encouragement or enthusiasm. It is less of a dialogue, and more of a monologue.
In saying this, Daley's story is very informative in its telling, if slightly clinical, and provides the audience with a lot of food for thought. The depths of his experiences with depression shared through his suicide letter are the most poignant and unsettling, and really ask onlookers to question the stigma around speaking up and out.
Though this well intentioned proclamation didn't quite live up to its obvious potential, there is great value in this ongoing conversation. Daley has put himself on the line, it's time we stood beside him.