Ellie Stamp: Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Ellie Stamp Are You Lonesome tonightWhichever way you add the numerals of your birth date together they will come to the same thing. You add and add until you reach a single digit. That number is you, you are that number. This is fate, this means something, the day you were born sets you on a path. Thus the laws of mathematics take on an arcane symbolism they were never designed to hold or perhaps that we have forgotten.

Mixing conversational direct address, skillful musicality, and a gently playful interactive quality Ellie Stamp has something to say about delusions, about meaning and madness, and just how perilously, chemically close those two states are.

Triggered by a family member’s delusional belief the show examines the neurological explanation for certain forms of mental illness, the social and medical construction of a diagnosis, and the way in which a label comes to override all other concerns.

The grand cipher of Elvis (the subject of a delusional belief himself, with 8% of the citizens of the USA still believing him to be alive) stands at the heart of the work, around his undeniable charm and significance it is easy to come to the wrong conclusion. This person who is very nice and good at music, well it only makes sense that they should be related to Elvis because he was very nice and good at music and he had a sense of humor. Did you know that? Did you know that Elvis was a funny guy? What you think you know is only a thin slice of what is really true.

We construct truth moment by moment, all the things we think could be swept away, as they are by trauma or progressive illness, by hereditary conditions or the force of circumstance. Skillfully executed and resonant Stamp has created a work which needs to be seen by anyone wishing to understand better the subject of mental health that is so easily dismissed or deemed taboo.

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About Edward Rapley

Artist, actor, performer, and writer. A proud member of residence.org in Bristol. Trained at Ecole Philippe Gaulier. He has had the good fortune to be supported by Arnolfini, Bristol Old Vic and The Basement in the creation of some of his four solo shows. In his writing for Total Theatre he attempts to met each show on its own level and respond to the thoughts and dreams it sets off in his head.