How do you overcome and fight through a borderline personality disorder diagnosis after years of struggling with mental illness? Girl, Schminterschmupted attempts to tackle this question through the writing and performance of Beth McMullen, using her personal experiences with BPD to tell her story with humour and poignancy.
Held in the Gallery Room at the National Wine Centre, Girl Schminterschmupted begins with McMullen in a straitjacket while singing Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” What follows are a number of sketches often detailing events pulled straight from McMullen’s life, which are often quite hilarious, but sometimes moving. The Gallery Room is a big space for a small show, however, I found this did not affect the delivery or intimacy of the show, and McMullen used the space for certain sketches to her advantage.
Borderline personality disorder is certainly not something that lends itself to humour. The fact that McMullen owns her story and is able to use her diagnosis to wring humour for other people’s entertainment is the show’s greatest strength. There are some moments towards the end where McMullen shares her most personal material, brimming with emotion due to its nature. While this, and other moments as well, are slightly uncomfortable, the audience are right with her, having watched McMullen essentially bare her life and soul for the rest of the show. It’s to McMullen’s credit that the audience leaves not only having had a good laugh for 45 minutes, but also with a greater understanding of how much of an affect BPD can have on someone’s life.
Girl, Schminterschmupted is a funny and moving portrait of how borderline personality disorder has affected Beth McMullen’s life, but also triumphant in that it has not defeated her. McMullen perfectly straddles the line of humour and poignancy to deliver a show that is both important and entertaining. See this to witness someone using humour to win at life against the odds.
Girl, Schminterschmupted runs until Friday 1st of March. Buy tickets HERE.
By Tania Nicholas