Record is another unusual body of work, described by writer/ singer/ guitarist and actor (That’s a heck of a lot of slashes) Dylan Tighe as a ‘project’, as not only is it a play, it’s also an album and a series of podcasts, all based around the one topic, Dylan’s battle with depression and mental illness.
It is a surprisingly honest account, starting with his diagnosis with bi-polar disorder and then moving on to his various episodes over the last ten years. He requested his medical records under the freedom of information act, and various notes from doctor’s records are read and acted out, by Dylan and the two other members of the cast (playing his Doctor and Nurse). This is also broken up by musical interludes, as the stage is set up with guitars and a drum set. The use of film further broadens the complexity of the piece, with medical advertisements for the many drugs he was perscribed (always emphasising the debilitating side effects of each) and interviews with Dr. Pat Bracken.
‘I read the list of side effects, convinced I have them all’ is one lyric in the song Lamotrigine (a drug for the treatment of seizures and bi-polar disorder). Dylan’s own belief that the drugs do nothing to relieve the problem, and that depression can only be faced day by day with the support and love of those around you form the basic treatise of the play. Ireland has a problem with discussing mental illness, as it does with many other topics, this play battles to bring the topic to the fore, and to hopefully help those suffering from similar problems.
Record has now finished it’s run in the Dublin Theatre festival, but there will also be concerts and other events, so keep an eye out for this projects return!