It was a muggy Friday night as I made my way to the Cellar at Q Theatre to watch Ashton Brown.
His show began as one would expect, with straight stand up, first remarking on his pre-show ritual and the general sweatiness of himself and the crowd, before touching on various current events and his own personal life, remarking on his own career in his self-depreciating fashion.
At the midway point of the show everything changed with the introduction of his 2nd year psychiatry student (played by Brown), who was introduced to represent attitudes to mental health in New Zealand, a major theme that ran through the latter part of the show.
Ashton transitions seamlessly between monologuing as the psychiatrist and delivering his stand-up in response. Though this, Ashton delivers a deeply personal and genuine account of his own issues with anxiety, depression and addiction, taking us on an emotional journey that was both brave and personal.
While the format and presentation of the show needed a little more work and didn’t quite hang together as a single piece, it succeeded in allowing him to share a deeply personal, and at times dark story, while still making the audience laugh along the way.
Ashton Brown set out with a goal to break down the barriers surrounding mental health through comedy. He succeeded in this. I thoroughly enjoyed this show and anyone who is a fan of comedy that comes from a place of deep introspection will love it too.
Ashton Brown plays Friday 19th May at The Loft, Q Theatre 10pm