LOVE (Watching Madness)

60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 - 11:30 to Monday, August 26, 2019 - 12:30

Critically acclaimed SpeakUp Theatre present a searingly honest one-woman show investigating mums, daughters and the complexities of loving someone with mental illness – specifically bipolar disorder.  LOVE (Watching Madness) is a funny, moving and relatable insight into how it feels to care for someone who can’t always show that they care for you.


Isabelle Kabban’s mother was only diagnosed with bipolar when she was 62 – a diagnosis which led Isabelle to reflect on their previous conversations on Facebook messenger.  The messages depicted not just the ups of mania and the downs of depression but the multitude of complex feelings in between.  It was the taboo and lack of awareness surrounding mental health that meant her mum had never properly acknowledged how she felt and it was only at the point of being a danger to herself that she realised she needed help. 


LOVE (Watching Madness) provides a very personal insight into the effects of bipolar disorder on the sufferer’s family, exploring the emotions that can surface and the associated feelings of guilt.  It explores self-medication, particularly with alcohol, and the ways in which we try to avoid delving into how we really feel and the effects of this on two women of different generations.   With bipolar comes both dark and light; it is a condition that, while troubling, can be full of hope and joy and offer a unique connection between people.  The production confronts anxieties, grief, loss, co-dependency and learning how to be make it on your own, all packaged with fast flying wit and the experiences of a 21st Century young woman.


Isabelle Kabban comments, On average it takes 10 ½ years to receive a correct diagnosis for bipolar in the UK and before bipolar is diagnosed there is misdiagnosis an average of 3 ½ times.  In my first year of university my mum, aged 62, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Her diagnosis brought her a great sense of relief; an explanation for the way she'd been for most of her life.  She's still not 'well' but getting the help she needed and deserved changed both our lives for the better.  This show is for her.


LOVE (Watching Madness) was originally developed as part of the John Thaw Mental Health Season 2018 and is now performed in association with The Actors Centre. 

United Kingdom
60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ
Part of: 
02 August 2019 to 26 August 2019

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019