I Am Not Myself These Days at The Liverpool Playhouse Studio

Posted on 4 February 2016
By Janie Phillips
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Written and performed by Tom Stuart, I Am Not Myself These Days is adapted from the autobiography by Josh Kilmer-Purcell. This one man show at The Liverpool Playhouse Studio until Saturday tells the story of Josh, who for a time was leading a double life – working at an ad agency by day, and dressing as drag queen, Aqua by night. Set in New York in the 1990’s we see Aqua fall in love with Jack – a high class, drug fuelled rent-boy as she herself battles with alcoholism.

It might not sound the most inspiring of stories, but Stuart’s creation of Aqua – radiant in her pink sequined dress, seven-inch red stilettos and the most imaginative use of a bra I have ever seen – charms the audience straight away. Stuart has been clever with his script, and has used his talents in his resourcefulness of finding characters, adding them in as the story develops.

Switching from one to another has added more layers and adds to the dramatic tension that Stuart seems quite adept at, also the energy required to fuel all of these characters in particular Aqua herself is exhausting just to watch. It is not all dramatics, as the script is littered with some lovely funny one-liners that Stuart delivers wonderfully; peeling away the different layers of Aqua is something that Stuart does rather well and his performance is incredible.

Nestled snugly in the Playhouse Studio the set is simply a black stage with some neon lighting and some props near by. Clever use of the lighting plays an important part to the storytelling, designed by Guy Hoare and gives the set that retro New York style. There are moments of real tenderness, humour and plenty of tension, and it is hard to believe that this is Stuart’s first play as a writer.

Directed by Nick Bagnall and produced by Fuel, I Am Not Myself These Days is a spectacular one-man tale, told with passion and energy. A highlight of the season and a show that deserves to be seen more than once.

I Am Not Myself These Days
Playhouse Studio, 03/02/2016
Author / Cast: Tom Stuart
Director: Nick Bagnall
Producer: Fuel
PR Rating: Not to be Missed *****

I Am Not Myself These Days runs until 06 February. For tickets and information about the show and tour dates please visit: http://www.everymanplayhouse.com/