You’re probably familiar with the butterfly effect – the idea that we are all interlinked, to the extent that if you sneeze in Edinburgh you might provoke early labour for a woman down in Cardiff. I’m paraphrasing, but the close networks we instinctively form as humans, and the interlinked nature of society forms the basis for this show. This is an invitation to start a ripple effect, to flap our proverbial wings and spread kindness.
Burton is an engaging and likeable performer. She talks about her own life and story with honesty and compassion. She portrays complementary characters which are all too recognisable, with a real skill for identifying the idiosyncrasies that create the whole. The hour chronicles her experience of poor mental health and the acts of kindness which impacted her at her lowest ebbs. The show is tightly planned and structured, with lighting, sound, visuals and words all considered and executed without ever feeling too busy.
The highlights for me were sketches, filmed with Burton leading from the front and complimenting people in the street, from passers-by to street cleaners and the man behind a ticket desk. Highlighting the small actions we can take to make life a little nicer for the people who make our day a little easier. She takes on catcalling brilliantly – and her attempts to turn the tables on the people who catcall her provide great entertainment.
For me, the show was entertaining rather than laugh-out-loud funny. However, it is the one I have found myself consistently referencing to friends and family. The message is strong – kindness breeds kindness, and you never know what impact one simple act might have on a life.
At the end of the show Burton offered extra incentive to begin her call to kindness, and presented us with a dare from a past audience member to be kind. Mine was to stand up for someone – and the very next day I did. I know that without this little push there is a chance I would have let it go. This show firmly shows us the revolution is warm. Change can begin from the smallest ripples, and I for one am glad to be a part of it.
Juliette Burton – Butterfly Effect in on at The Gilded Balloon Teviot, 4:30pm, until 27th August. Tickets and more details here.