Theatre preview: 7 Day Drunk @ Assembly George Square, Edinburgh

Published by METRO

We can probably forgive Bryony Kimmings for being a little confident ahead of her second outing at the Fringe. After all, last year’s Sex Idiot – her debut show at the festival – picked up a Total Theatre Award, earned an Arches Brick nomination and won widespread critical acclaim.

But scripting an entire piece of theatre during a week of binge drinking? Surely that’s ridiculously complacent. Except that’s kind of the point in this theatrical project, which examines the relationship between alcoholic intoxication and artistic expression.

We all know that Jack Kerouac, Jim Morrison and other pioneers of various art forms produced some truly groundbreaking work on cocktails of mind-altering substances, but did their indulgences genuinely open up new doors?

Curious to know if she was more creative while either drunk, sober or hungover, Kimmings carried out an endeavour that will turn out to be more topical than she could have possibly foreseen following the recent tragic loss of troubled singer Amy Winehouse.

Monitored by a team of medics, neuroscientists, pharmacologists and sociologists, Kimmings consumed controlled quantities of alcohol over a period of seven days as she devised her new piece for this year’s Fringe.

Four litres of vodka, 36 cigarettes and 14 text messages from concerned friends and relatives later, the result is an impressively original performance that is being billed as ‘two parts song-and-dance routine, one part breakdown’.

Kimmings will be stone-cold sober as she retraces the drunken steps of her at times emotional creative experiment, while the show will also draw on the recorded footage filmed at her live-in workspace.

So does alcohol act as a lubricant for the artistic soul? Writing this as I pour the last remaining drops of a bottle of wine into my glass, I’m still uncertain. I guess I’ll just have to head to Assembly George Square to find out.