Everything is Absolutely Fine – book by Alice Keedwell music and lyrics by Harry Blake. Streaming. 4****. William Russell.

Alice is an occupational therapist. Alice has moved to a new job in Berkhamsted. Alice wonders whether she ought to have gone somewhere cool – like Margate. Alice has slept in. Alice worries. Alice has anxiety. This sixty minute musical tackles the problem of people suffering from mental illness with wit and feeling. Alice played by Alice Keedwell is on the surface a jolly your woman, maybe a little nervous and tentative, but nothing to worry about. She sings sweetly, rejoices in visiting Waitrose, meeting the cool woman from her new local and talking to her. Meanwhile the voice in her head – Harry Blake playing the keyboards – tells her how silly she is, how she is going to get it wrong. This variation on people who need people manages to inform while still keeping one feeling one is being entertained, not lectured to about how Alice is at it again. It ends with a list of numbers where people suffering from mental ill health like Alice can seek help. Director Valentine Cessi has staged the show – it was a victim of the pandemic now getting a chance to be see – simply and effectively.

Alice – Alice Keedwell
Anxiety – Harry Blake.
Director – Valenina Cessi
Lighting – Richard Williams
Choreography – Jennifer Fletcher.

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