Losing My Mindfulness
Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire
“Do you want to feel calmer, more focused and relaxed? Imagine a life where daily stress just floats by like a cloud in the sky, not a rain cloud, a nice one, a fluffy one. Yeah, do you want that? You know you do, don’t you? Join me at my mindfulness workshop where we can leave our baggage behind and be in the moment, even if that moment is not quite what you thought it would be, cos hey, what is?! Sometimes that moment is f*cking terrible. I’m joking. See, mindfulness can be fun. Fun and calm.”
Review by Richard Lambert, 5 Stars
Grabbing a cocktail at the lively Cabaret Voltaire in part of the old town which has all these underground labyrinths, ina creative pop-up venues for the Fringe, I headed downstairs to see “Losing My Mindfulness” by Katie McLeod.
In the basement, just off from one of several bars within this establishment is a room where Katie is holding her “Mindfulness Workshop”. The company she works for is “re-structuring” and all employees must re-apply for their own roles. There are going to be fewer roles moving forward than there are employees. Wanting to make a good impression, Katie, who works in HR, is running this workshop to help colleagues cope with the stress of the re-structure whilst simultaneously aiming to show herself in a good light to her bosses to save her own job.
A very clever concept – a show within a show. And you, as the audience, are her colleagues and participants at the Mindfullness Workshop. If you’ve ever been to one of the self-help workshop sessions then you’ll recognise and identify with some of the techniques suggested by Katie. If you haven’t it’s easy to imagine how ludicrous some of these can be.
A true story: I was once forced into one where the facilitator brought in an apple from her garden at home, cut it up, and shared it with us so we could appreciate Mother Earth – meanwhile 1000 items on my to do list were missing deadlines as I sat through this wankiness, causing way more stress than a bite of sour apple could ever solve. Sour Apples being very appropriate that day!
Not wanting to give away too many spoilers in this Review, but Katie, the employee, may not be the most ideal candidate to facilitate this workshop – personal issues going on outside the workshop infiltrate her session and expose the cracks in her corporate persona.
Not wanting to acknowledge the reality of her situation, excuses are made for the manner she’s being treated, with low self-esteem playing out in a self-blame game.
This is Black Comedy with poignancy. Only someone who’s experienced a similar situation could perform this highly charged emotional piece with such raw honesty. A slick performance piece that might make you feel a little uncomfortable as you chuckle at the dilemma of “carrying on” regardless. It will all work itself out if you’re “Mindful and in the moment”. Or is that really the reality?
Part of the Free Fringe!
“It’s a strong concept and McLeod acts the part well – manic in places, obviously stressed and furiously fighting to hold it all together…..the message of the piece comes across clearly.” (TheWeeReview)
“Worth your time to see. Offers great insight into mindfulness. Gave me a good chuckle. Very cosy venue.” (Jack Haynes)
“This is a fantastic show, which you shouldn’t miss. Laugh out loud funny, then punches you in the gut with the underlying theme of coercive control. Very acutely observed and bleeds with truth. So get there early.” (Melanie Branton)
“Funny, engaging, silly, serious. All the self-help books in the world are no antidote to the realisation that you’re in an abusive relationship and breaking free.” (Jam House Edinburgh)
“I loved the show- funny, powerful and very ‘in the moment’! Definitely one to catch @edfringe” (Saskia Fischer)