Pulborough-based actress and campaigner Amanda Waring brings her show A Glass Half Full to the Brighton Fringe with a date at the Verdict on Saturday, May 9.
An inspirational comedy revue, it sees Amanda explore, through anecdote, music, stand-up, cake and the unexpected, how we might all lead a more fulfilling life.
“It’s about how we might have more fun, more joy, more love in our lives. It’s very interactive. There is quite a lot of improvisation with the audience.
“I have always found it very interesting, our attitudes to life, whether we are people for whom the glass is half full or people for whom the glass is half empty. Really, it is about whether we have got the right cocktail in that glass to start with and how we might make that cocktail better!”
As Amanda says, there are so many obstacles: “It might be isolation. It might be loneliness or bitterness or regret or the feeling that you can’t live in the moment.”
Amanda’s response is a show which she describes as a joyous romp through the ways we might all improve our lives.
Amanda launched the show at the Festival of Chichester last year, on the back of the success of her previous show, For The Love of Chocolate last year.
“The show is educational and zany and funny, I hope, but there will be some profound home truths within the comedy. On one level, there is part of us that needs to be given permission to enjoy ourselves. Sometimes we can live our lives very restrictively. We are either over permissive or over restrictive. The point is that it if we need to eat a piece of chocolate, that is fine. If we need to tell someone that we love them, we should do so. We should be thinking about all the things we would do if we knew we were going to die tomorrow.”
So what would Amanda want to do?
“If I knew it was going to be my last day, I would want to be with my loved ones. I would want to be with my son outside walking through beautiful, beautiful nature. Nature and family and loved-ones are what I like. And I would want live music. I would want live musicians around me and lots of chocolate and the opportunity to celebrate all the people in my life that have made a difference to me.
“We just all get so busy, and often we are just in survival mode, which is understandable because of all the pressures that we live with, because of the fact that we are always connected. The internet can be a very useful thing. You can learn so much, and it can be used to campaign in an extraordinary way. It is a great way of becoming aware of what is happening, but we can become so globalised and can worry so much about the state of the earth that we lose the ability to enjoy the moment that we are in. Mindfulness is the buzzword. Really we do need to be mindful of the moment we are in, and that’s what I mean, that sometimes we need to be given permission to enjoy ourselves. Instead of thinking ‘Oh, I haven’t done this! I haven’t done this!’, we need to be thinking ‘Yes, but I have done this and I have done that!.’ We need to look at the flipside.”
Amanda loves the one-woman format: “I like the freedom, and I like the bravery. I have always suffered from terrible stage fright, but what happened when I first did a one-woman show was that it dissolved to a much more manageable degree. My fear was always that I was going to let other people down by making a mistake. When you are on your own on stage, you don’t have to worry about that. There is so much more personal freedom!”