Writer: Charles Michael Edmonds
Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
The Public Reviews Rating:
A solo account of Charles Michael Edmonds’ real life experiences of drug use, rehab and the rocky road to recovery, It’s My Wonderful Life is frank with no frills. Performed by its author, it offers a look inside the mind of an addict who is in the depths of denial about his problem. Stealing from all around him to pay for his coke habit and in real danger of having his arms broken by those he owes money to, Charles decides to play the system and put himself into rehab. Once in the programme, he begins to see that he has something in common with these addicts, and that perhaps he really might need some help.
Billed as drama, this is not a piece that easily fits into a prescribed category, dealing as it does with one man’s journey and search for redemption. At times it is witty and watchable, having more in common with stand up than theatre, but other moments are acted out and this is where lack of craft become apparent, the dialogue becoming almost inaudible in the very intimate space in an attempt to make it naturalistic. The obvious personal nature of the piece raises its own challenges, with our narrator recounting charged moments with little visible emotion – perhaps a coping strategy he has had to employ but one that makes it difficult to truly connect with him.
Interesting, informative, and strangely engaging due to Edmonds’ charisma and charm, this will certainly be a show you will remember. By no means a polished piece of theatre, it nevertheless communicates and entertains, but would benefit from some further work and the eye of a director.
Until 18th AugustEdinburgh Fringe: It’s My Wonderful Life – theSpace@Jury’s Inn,