Following an extended run at Battersea Arts Centre, a sell-out run at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and an Offies 2019 Award win, Bryony Kimmings brings the critically acclaimed I’m a Phoenix, Bitch to Manchester.
Kimmings weaves a powerful, dark and joyful masterpiece about motherhood, heartbreak and finding inner strength. Combining ethereal music, personal stories, epic film and feats of human strength.
Ever sunk so deep you felt like you might never make it up for air?
In 2016, Bryony nearly drowned. Post-natal breakdowns, an imploding relationship and an extremely sick child left her sitting beneath the waves hoping she could slowly turn to shell.
Four years later and she is able to deal with life again, but wears the scars of that year like a dark and heavy cloak. Who do we become after trauma? How do we turn pain into power? How do we fly instead of drown?
We will need new myths to survive the end of existence as we know it. Tonight a new legend will be created; that of the invincible and fearless woman; a tale Bryony wishes she had known from birth.
★★★★★ “I was gripped throughout and couldn’t look away… An astonishing, important and timely piece of theatre.” – Northern Soul
“A deeply personal and harrowing account of someone struggling through the worst that life can offer.” – British Theatre Guide
★★★★★ “An outstanding work of multimedia artistry… A gloriously uplifting spectacle.” – The Greater Manchester Reviewer
“[Bryony Kimmings’] brave, in-depth investigation into motherhood and mental health in this production is eliciting compassion and starting vital conversations… Reveals the transformative, healing power of theatre… Kimmings [is] an inspiration to the theatre community.” – Reviewer Number 9
★★★★ “At 90 minutes this performance flashes by at a breakneck speed and is over before you know it… You are, however, left in no doubt that you’ve been on an exceptional journey… Pulls no punches, it’s a tour-de-force and should be seen at the earliest opportunity.” – Quays News
“An autobiographical performance by an artist who has never shied away from painful, personal subject matter… This is dark subject matter but Kimmings has a lightness of touch that and a real natural warmth that is always engaging.” – Live Art Alive
★★★★ “This is such a personal play that you cannot help but put yourself into Bryony’s shoes, to feel empathy… This was communicated with the standing ovation at the end.” – North West End
★★★★★ “A powerful, hard-hitting, deeply inspiring show which fully deserves the standing ovation it received… I have never been so quick to my feet with applause.” – The Play’s The Thing
“At the play’s close, Kimmings merits the standing ovation… She stands alone on stage and addresses us, her listeners: ‘I hope that you’re OK.’ I’m A Phoenix, Bitch is a story about being strong. As I reach for my coat, the woman sat next to me – once a stranger – looks at me and says, “Now that is how you do therapy.” So it is.” – FUSE FM
★★★★★ “Bryony Kimmings’ deeply personal show is an exhilarating ride via pop video, horror movie, art installation and therapy session… A double inspiration and a testimony both to human resilience and the healing properties of art.” – The Guardian
“Fearless, funny and feminist… Rises from the ashes of trauma, and the courage and vulnerability – the raw intensity of feeling Kimmings displays – can’t fail to impress.” – The Age (Melbourne)
★★★★★ “A 90-minute declaration of one woman’s innermost demons, both terrifying, analytical and perfectly crafted… Steeped in honesty and made with impeccable skill… A glorious piece of theatre that demands to be seen.” – The List
★★★★ “Imagine a metaphysical glitter cannon of trauma being fired straight at your chest.” – Time Out
★★★★ “Bryony Kimmings charts her return from the edge in a distressing one-woman show on trauma that hurts more than it heals… An overwhelming experience.” – The Stage (behind paywall)
★★★★ “Therapy on a grand scale… Brutally honest… Therapeutic for everyone involved, including the audience… Mental illness affects one in six people in the UK, and this show is an important addition to understanding how we cope with trauma.” – The Reviews Hub
★★★★ “Kimmings’ on-stage persona, as well as the tightly written and edited script, are full of a life-affirming humour that makes I’m a Phoenix a real joy to watch… More of this please.” – What’s On Stage
“A stunning show that looks inward to thrust outwards… Astounding.” – Exeunt
“Extraordinary… The best thing she’s ever done… Bryony Kimmings is the greatest show-woman in town.” – The Scotsman
Co-commissioned by Battersea Arts Centre, Arts Centre Melbourne, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts and supported by Latitude Festival. Supported by the British Council, and supported by Arts Council England using public funding. In association with Avalon.
Want to know more about Bryony Kimmings? Read this Guardian Australia feature