This Way Up: why Aisling Bea's show is the perfect tonic for our times – AuthenticAfrican

Posted on by Hannah Jane Parkinson

The standup tackles everything from mental health to love and sibling relationships in this deft comedy on recovery

It’s a very hard thing to do, to write about mental health issues with humour. There are so many possible missteps, especially during a heightened “cancel” culture. But it is clear the actor and comedian – and now writer and producer – Aisling Bea has nailed it in This Way Up, when, in the very first scene, her character, Aine, on leaving an expensive inpatient mental health facility, makes a comment about the lack of snacks and Jacuzzi.

The first time I was a private inpatient, I campaigned to switch the decaf coffee for proper coffee, and made a point about the tepid, dribbling showers – apparently a safety thing, which I still don’t understand, because who tries to self-harm with water pressure? “Just some feedback …” says Aine’s sister Shona (played by Sharon Horgan) to the receptionist. When an opening scene is as authentic as this, the tone and plot so perfectly, instantly established and recognisable – you know good things are to come.

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