There are things that many kids go through in their childhood and some into adolescence. Often they go through these things all alone and they feel shame about the experience.
Silent shame. Personal shame.
Many times through Tamlynn Bryson’s performance at Bedwetter on Friday night, the helpless expression that “it will go away on it’s own” came to the forefront. First from the doctor’s prognosis, then from the hopeful rationale from Tamlynn as she grew up, and later to an almost helpless and hopeless cry when it wasn’t “going away on it’s own.”
Bedwetting is something that is used as a trope in popular culture. It’s a failing that is laughed it, as Bryson put on full display during her 60 minute performance at Mills Hardware. Audio clips from popular sitcoms making light of the experience piped through the speakers as she listened to them on stage; her face showing the pain that the jokes had evoked when she had gone through the experiences. Being something not in her control and something that she desperately wanted to end for the years she spent growing up, the laughter that she could see from popular culture around her made the experience feel even more shameful. Could she even tell her deepest, darkest secret to her friends at school? Would they look at her differently? Would they even stay her friends?
Bryson was an absolute delight on the stage as she talked about what it was like. She reenacted out the interactions she had with her doctor, her family, school bullies, as well as the fantastic dialogue between herself and her bladder – the villian of this epic tale. She crafted an interesting tale of how she dealt with the nightly struggles which included several humorous moments that were immediately followed by eye watering transitions.
The mental ballet of the question of what it’s like to become a woman while still feeling like a baby was powerful.
Tamlynn Bryson is an amazing storyteller who made the taboo topic of bedwetting what will soon become the talk of the Fringe. Bedwetter is a must-see. Just make sure you do it on an empty bladder.