‘Heartbreaking and brilliant’ EdFringe Review
Fast paced adaptation of Josh Kilmer-Purcell's best-selling autobiography I Am Not Myself These Days
Written and performed by Tom Stuart, directed by Nick Bagnall, produced by Fuel
At the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe the extraordinarily compelling tour-de-force performance of Tom Stuart, in his own adaptation of the best-selling memoir, became one of the talking points of the Festival. Audiences were visibly moved by the story of alcoholic drag queen Aqua desperately trying to make a relationship work with Jack, a gay scene regular. Now audiences in Northern Ireland have an opportunity to see it when it comes to Belfast’s MAC on Friday/Saturday 25/26 February as part of a tour that concludes with a two-week London run.
‘Tom Stuart's performance is breathtakingly physical... A well-constructed adaptation of a brutal story told with energy and compassion’ The Stage *****
I Am Not Myself These Days is a fast-paced one-man show that is by turns brutal, funny and heartbreaking, a gripping tale of love and self-discovery set amidst the hedonistic excesses of 1990’s New York. It is adapted for the stage from Josh Kilmer-Purcell's New York Times Bestseller, a darkly humorous autobiographical story of a young New Yorker's unconventional journey to self-acceptance while living a daring dual life - advertising art director by day, glitter-dripping drag queen by night.
‘Profoundly affecting, by turns warm, bitter, optimistic, cynical and deeply, profoundly human’ ThreeWeeks ****
Although the characters pride themselves on their unconventionality, their problems are universal. Tom Stuart felt compelled to adapt the novel for the stage to bring the personal journey of a marginalised member of society into a wider context, seeking to help break down the barriers of prejudice.
Tom, who was originally given the book by his friend actor Kathy Burke with whom he was making a TV programme at the time, puts it like this ‘it’s such an incredibly honest, open and engaging book. I wanted to see if I could extend that honesty to the stage and make an audience feel how I felt reading the book alone in my bed. I like to think of it as a love story, albeit an unconventional one. Although set in a specific time and place, I think most people will be able to relate to and recognise something of themselves in it, whatever their background or circumstances.’
‘Stuart is a charismatic presence and a fine actor and storyteller’ Scotsman
Tom Stuart works extensively in theatre around the UK and appears frequently at Shakespeare’s Globe. His TV work includes Kathy Burke’s Walking and Talking, Psychobitches, Little Crackers andLaw and Order. Films include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Michael Winterbottom’s The Look of Love', and John Boorman’s Queen & Country.
‘Tom Stuart preens to perfection as Paris’ Time Out (Last Days of Troy, Manchester Royal Exchange)
Director Nick Bagnall is associate director at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. His most recent work includes:
- The Odyssey: Missing presumed dead - ETT/ Liverpool Everyman;
- The Last Days Of Troy - Royal Exchange, Manchester/Shakespeare’s Globe
- The Henry VI Trilogy - Shakespeare’s Globe.
Fuel produces fresh work by adventurous people by inspiring audiences. Founded in 2004 and led by Louise Blackwell and Kate McGrath, Fuel is a producing organisation working in partnership with some of the UK’s most exciting theatre artists to create, develop and present new work for all. www.fueltheatre.com
Belfast MAC, 10 Exchange Street West, BT1 2NJ
25 – 26 February 8pm
£17 / £15 / £12
028 9023 5053