Cabaret Festival

Cabaret Festival Review: Mental as Everything

The music was just as good as the insights into mental health


Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre

Reviewed 24 June 2021

Mental as Everything is an enjoyable and different type of approach to mental health education. Specifically focusing on three mental health disorders, those being obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder and anxiety, the duo express their sufferings through speech and musical compositions.

Damon Smith is the pianist that suffers from OCD and bipolar disorder. He is also the singer and songwriter of the pair. Adam Coad is the anxious drummer and ukulele player. They have been performing together since 2018.

Although the message they are spreading is done in a light-hearted and self-deprecating way, there is no doubt that both men are serious about debunking myths and normalising mental health conversations. In particular, normalising mental health conversations between men.

Throughout the performance, Damon makes it clear that OCD (with its characteristic instrusive thoughts) is a condition that true sufferers feel is trivialised in common speech. He dedicates a song to his condition. The raw truth in his description as to the way his mind works is powerful and stirs the emotions. It is impossible to not come away with more compassion for sufferers.

Mental as Everything is aimed at audiences over 16 and is suitable for anyone to watch, sufferer or not. It would also particularly benefit carers as it provides an objective explanation of their condition – not a medical one.

Although the performance was not quite as funny as I was expecting, with a simple set and music that is well composed, this was an enjoyable evening.

Reviewed by Rebecca Wu

Rating out of 5: 4

Venue: Quartet Bar, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: Thursday 24th June to Saturday 26th June 2021
Duration: 60 minutes

Tickets: $39.00


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