1. Ice cream. 2. Water fights. 3. Staying up past your bedtime and being allowed to watch TV. 4. The colour yellow. 5. The colour yellow. 6. Rollercoasters. A coming of age story with a twist: a young boy, later a young man, writes list of every brilliant thing he can think of. He tries to uplift himself, and those around him, as he struggles through his mother’s depression and attempted suicide, finds love, and learns that ice-cream can’t solve your problems forever – but maybe listening to an old record can?
Every Brilliant Thing makes (gentle) use of audience participation in order to flesh out the story – audience members standing in for the narrator’s neighbour, father, mother, friend. Because of this, every performance is fresh and exciting to watch. We watch the narrator grow up in an incredibly relatable way, and experience it all alongside him – sadness, loss, love, joy, more loss, everything in between that makes life worth living. Originally performed by a comedian – now performed by an actor with amazing comic timing and improvisational skills – it’s quick witted observational comedy like you have never seen before. Laugh along with the bittersweet nature of life, and leave the performance wanting to be alive. Come relate, understand, heal, and laugh with us. Also, did you know that Beyoncé is Gustav Mahler’s eight cousin, four times removed? That’s pretty brilliant.
Jeff Brooker is an award-winning producer, director and theatre administrator and strategist. His debut professional work as a director was the Owatonna Production of The Syringa Tree in 2017 with Kyra Rahn. This solo work of theatre was where he found his love for solo theatre and producing. He then returned to South Africa to pursue a bachelor’s degree in theatre making at the University of Cape Town. In his second year, he revised and reproduced The Syringa Tree with a new actress, Nancy Rademeyer. This production ran at the National Arts Festival Fringe, where it won a Standard Bank Ovation Award. This production was selected for a run at the Drama Factory in Somerset-West. He then began work on bringing a collective of 8 shows to the National Arts Festival in 2020, however due to the pandemic, this did not occur. He is currently working on a new production of the one-man comedic-drama solo show, Every Brilliant Thing, with Liam Walsh. The student collective model is currently being re-envisioned as a UCT theatre-making festival, under the mentorship of Jefferson Tshabalala, to occur at the end of 2021.