"EVERY BRILLIANT THING," THE INNOVATIVE OFF-BROADWAY SHOW ADAPTED FOR THE SCREEN BY AWARD-WINNING FILMMAKERS FENTON BAILEY AND RANDY BARBATO, OFFERS A LIST FOR LIFE; DOCUMENTARY DEBUTS DEC. 26
Coming into the holiday season, when many reflect on what they are most grateful for, EVERY BRILLIANT THING strikes a delicate balance between sobering loss and cathartic laughter. Adapting the hit off-Broadway one-character show of the same name written by Duncan Macmillan and starring British comedian Jonny Donahoe, this deeply poignant film recounts a life lived in the shadow of suicide.
Emmy(R) winners Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (HBO's "Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures" and "Wishful Drinking") produce and direct the heart-wrenching yet humorous presentation, which debuts MONDAY, DEC. 26 (8:00-9:05 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
Other HBO playdates: Dec. 27 (12:30 a.m.), 29 (5:15 p.m.) and 31 (3:00 p.m.), and Jan. 5 (1:45 p.m.), 13 (3:20 a.m.), 15 (2:00 p.m.) and 18 (10:00 a.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Jan. 3 (2:20 p.m.), 4 (9:00 p.m.) and 6 (2:55 a.m.)
The documentary will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.
This unique film is about depression and the lengths people go to for those they love. In this acclaimed show, a young boy attempts to cure his mother's depression by creating a list of the best things in the world. The list grows as he progresses from childhood ("Ice Cream") and adolescence ("Star Trek"), to college ("Surprises") and marriage ("Falling in Love"). But when life deals a bitter blow, the list proves to be helpful to the son in ways that it could never be for the mother.
Filmed in 2015 at New York City's Barrow Theatre, EVERY BRILLIANT THING opens as Donahoe greets the arriving audience with hand-written notes instructing them to participate when called upon. He then proceeds to tell a story spanning nearly three decades and several life-changing events, starting with a young boy's eye-opening first brush with death (his childhood dog), evoking laughter and tears in equal measure. Donahoe charms spectators into acting opposite him in various roles - a veterinarian, his father, his college lecturer, his fiancée - fostering an intimate sense of community through comic dialogues.
EVERY BRILLIANT THING was first produced by Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre Company. The stage production was performed at the Ludlow Fringe Festival in Great Britain in 2013 and went on to play the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014. It ran for 16 weeks at the Barrow Street Theatre in New York City, ending in March 2015.
Star Jonny Donahoe received a Drama Desk Award nomination in the category of Outstanding Solo Performance for EVERY BRILLIANT THING, as well as Lucille Lortel Award nominations for Outstanding Solo Show in the categories of Actor and Playwright. The Guardian called the stage production the "funniest play you'll see about depression," while the Sunday Times hailed Donahoe's performance as "absurdly cherishable" and "fantastically likeable."
Writer Duncan Macmillan was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Solo Show in the category of Playwright for EVERY BRILLIANT THING. Macmillan's latest play is the Olivier Award-nominated "People, Places and Things" on the West End.
Executive producer Jean Doumanian produced or executive produced seven Woody Allen films, including "Bullets over Broadway" and "Sweet and Lowdown." Her other credits include the feature film "August: Osage County" and several Broadway productions, including "August: Osage County" and "The Mountaintop." Her upcoming feature films include "Una" and "Galveston."
HBO Documentary Films presents EVERY BRILLIANT THING; a film by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato; produced and directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato; executive produced by Jean Doumanian and Patrick Daly; written by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe; edited by Jason Blum; music composed by David Benjamin Steinberg. For HBO: executive producer, Sheila Nevins; supervising producer, Lisa Heller.