Juliette Burton wants us to be kinder to ourselves, and to each other. To an almost full house she appeared, covered in glitter, and proceeded to deliver a fast-paced, professional show.
Much of the run time was taken up with Juliette tackling her internal critic and her self-doubt head-on, represented by her father and mother respectively. Her fraught relationship with her parents is the framing devise much of the show rests on, leaving you feeling a bit sorry for her family, but as a way to explore impostor syndrome and millennial anxiety it works well.
Where the show really shines is in the videos interspersed throughout the hour of Juliette approaching various members of the public – first to practice politically correct catcalling, and then to practice small acts of kindness. The second video is particularly moving, showing Juliette putting compliments on post-it-notes on mirrors, giving out flowers in the street to street cleaners and service workers, and leaving encouraging postcards in books about mental health. Honestly, I got a little choked up.
A segment about her various mental health conditions is introduced and delivered with humour, “I don’t know if you can tell by my accent, but I have mental health issues,” she says, to warm laughter from the audience, “And yes, my worst mental health issue is that I like Comic Sans.” On the theme of kindness she tells a story about a former audience member who had come to Edinburgh to end his life, but who changed his mind after seeing her show. Later she tells me that this man is still alive and they keep in contact.
Throughout manages to keep the mood light, and it feels like she’s being careful not to trigger herself or her audience – which is appreciated – and at the end of the show urges people to donate to the charity MIND.
Overall, if you’re looking for something life affirming, but not too saccharine, you can’t go wrong with Butterfly Effect.
Words: Ana Hine
Juliette Burton: Butterfly Effect
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Teviot Row House, EH8 9AJ
Aug 5-15, 16:15, £9.00