Runtime: 1h 15m
If you saw Standing at the Sky’s Edge, you would have undoubtedly been knocked out by Maimuna Memon’s standout performance as Nikki, which won her an Olivier nomination for best supporting actor. But there’s no end to her talents, as this impressive solo musical tour de force for which she wrote the music, lyrics, and book proves. In Manic, she plays Ria, a singer-songwriter hitting London for the first time who hooks up with Daniel, who is beautiful but troubled. The brilliance of this is that it’s like a musical monologue, enhanced not only by Memon’s magnetic and delicate performance but also by the way she pushes the narrative forward through the folksy score. The characters are fully fleshed out, and the show is urgent and heartbreaking in the way it explores mental health and how somebody else’s trauma can be traumatising. I don’t think I’ve heard that talked about in the theatre so loudly or with such lyricism. It’s a great show.
Love, lust, and late nights collide in a musical roller coaster, taking the audience through the euphoria and distress of two people dealing with their own and each other’s mental health. Ria is working with her band to complete a new album – songs charting the rise and fall of a recent relationship. But the more Ria progresses, the more she’s drawn back to the darkness of her troubled past, until we’re not sure where memory ends and reality begins. From its multi-award winning run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, including The Scotsman Fringe First, the Mental Health Fringe Award and The Stage Edinburgh Award, Manic Street Creature now transfers to Southwark Playhouse Borough for a strictly limited run.