UNO Fest 2017 – 4 ½ (ig)noble truths
Review by Chad Jarvie-Laidlaw – Showbill.ca Writer
May 19, 2017
Part performance art, part lecture, part monologue, 4½ (ig)noble truths, written and performed by Thomas McKechnie, serves as an exceptionally intimate primer on depression, and how it manifests in all aspects of a person’s life.
(ig)noble truths loosely follows the structure of a lecture on clinical and psychotic depression, with McKechnie taking the audience into his life, and bringing bare the ugliness that swirls in the mind of the depressed. The over-analytical problems of how to socialize. The envy of those seemingly able to get on with life. The rage and frustration of being asked “How are you?” The vanity of despair. McKechnie poetically hurdles at breakneck speed through bike rides and parties and the depression welling up to fill all available space within himself.
(ig)noble truths is a wrenchingly personal piece, and difficult to watch at times. More so if (like this reviewer) you have struggled with clinical depression at any time in your life. While the exact processes Thomas expresses and experiences are his and his alone, they touch on, and are identifiable to, those who have had the same type of problems, and in being identifiable, translate from the personal to the universal.
The Bottom Line
Without offering platitudes or easy notions of “self help,” 4½ (ig)noble truths reminds the audience that the beauty of the world is there, inches away, if you’re able to turn your head just enough to see it.