An Interview is not all black—little pops of colour occasionally surface—but you could be forgiven for thinking that you’ve fallen into a world of blackness.
And so you have. An Interview is Manos Agianniotakis’ interactive adaptation of Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn’s play “Fake It ‘Til You Make It.” The pair’s performances grapple with the issue of clinical depression, particularly as it affects men. Here’s how they describe the show:
Expect home made music, stupid dancing, onstage arguments, real life stories, tears and truths in this wickedly heartwarming and funny celebration of the wonders and pitfalls of the human brain.
Consequently, there are not a million choices for you to make in An Interview. It is an interactive experience that is in large part concerned with feelings of hopelessness. There are things to click, but there is no magic button. An Interview and its source material do not take this lightly. They are not dour for dourness’ sake, but the conversion to interactive fiction has not come with all sorts of game-like features.
An Interview reckons with the gap between personal experiences and general trends. Kimmings and Grayburn note “mental health related suicide is the number one killer of men under 35 in the UK.” Their work—and, by extension, Agianniotakis’—is meant to respond to this phenomenon. The risk here is that the general phenomenon gets conflated with personal experiences. To be depressed is to have a lot in common with others while also often feeling wholly detached from your peers. An Interview addresses this challenge in two ways. First, the interactive narrative allows you to really zoom in the individual experience. You are there, amidst the particulars. You are not inside an infographic. If, however, you find some aspect of yourself in this specific experience, that can help humanize mental health data. “Fake It ‘Til You Make It” moves from the general to the specific; An Interview is moving in the other direction.