In Black Swan Theatre’s production of Every Brilliant Thing,written by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe, performer Luke Hewitt calmly relates over 40 years of psychological ups and downs in a steady, reassuring voice. He never raises his voice, he never entirely breaks down. The emotion is warm but subdued. It is a bit like being gently rubbed in a fluffy blanket for an hour.

Luke Hewitt Every Brilliant Thing Every Brilliant Thing

Performed in the round in a suitably intimate space where spectators look towards each other, designer Fiona Bruce has placed a circular, flocked rug centre stage to further emphasise this sense of warm embrace.

Presented as a solo show where audience members are coaxed into physically embodying and responding to those with whom the protagonist interacts (his father, his girlfriend, his vet, his lecturer, his school counsellor), the piece is basically an extended monologue. Participants are given clear instructions and what amounts to scripts, and while the strength of these lay performances varies, it is...