My World has Exploded a Little Bit is a brave, personal and moving guide to dealing with the inevitable death of everyone you know and love. Half lecture, half narrative, it jumps between humour and melancholy as it works through the processes of accepting mortality.
Bella Heesom – who makes her debut as a playwright with this performance – stars as herself, with Eva Alexander as her mischievous musical accomplice. On entering the venue, the audience is immediately greeted personally by the performers. Such care and courtesy instantly makes this show stand out from others. Plus, Heesom has one hell of a handshake.
In the first ten minutes of the performance, the audience is ordered to turn to those next to them, introduce themselves, and then tell their partner ‘you are going to die’. Although this may seem slightly sinister, it isn’t. In fact, these interactions loosen the atmosphere. Never have the words ‘you’re going to die’ felt more relaxing.
The balance between laughter and sadness is needed firstly because it ensures that the performance is neither too depressing nor inappropriately comical. Secondly, it shows that death, like life, has both its good and bad aspects. Heesom’s resolute positivity and confessions of occasional falls into hopelessness are simultaneously inspiring and honest.
In the description of the show Heesom writes ‘if you think this isn’t relevant to you, you’re wrong; everyone you love is going to die’. It’s true: everybody will lose someone at some stage. This statement also makes one wonder how many people in the audience are thinking about their own loved ones; seeing their own grief in Bella’s and reliving the loss of family and friends as Bella relives the loss of her parents. Because death is something that happens to everyone. It’s a wonder that we don’t talk about it more.