Wearable tech and comedy collide in Victoria Melody’s Head Set tour

Victoria Melody is to take her Edinburgh Fringe hit Head Set on the road this autumn.

Using wearable tech to scan her brain while she delivers jokes, Head Set follows Victoria Melody as she delves into amateur stand-up culture and trying to make peace with a messy brain.

A joyful and mischievous documentary-theatre show that celebrates neurodiversity and explores the social model of disability, Head Set tours this autumn from 3 October – 11 November.

The tour follows a hugely successful run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2022 and has been updated and restaged with the help of Bryony Kimmings to reflect on Victoria’s recent life changes.

Fed up with theatre-making after a hard tour, Victoria Melody fell back onto her plan b: she decided to try and crack stand-up comedy. But what sounded like genius in her head came out of her mouth as garbled mess, so she sought the help of a speech and language therapist which led to her eventual diagnosis as neurodivergent.

Always the experimenter, she took her late age diagnosis of ADHD and autism to neuroscientists and started working with them to examine the scientific potential of stand-up as self-medication for ADHD, using wearable tech to scan her brain while she delivered jokes. Head Set follows Victoria’s strange journey into finding one’s authentic self while trying to succeed in the mainstream.

The production is directed by John Gordillo with set and costume design by David Curtis-Ring, lighting design by Sean Phillips and musical direction by and composition by Tom Parkinson.

For more information, tour dates and tickets, visit victoriamelody.com

Victoria Melody said: “I’m delighted to be taking Head Set out on tour and sharing its important themes with audiences across the country and connecting with neurodivergent audiences. Women are often underdiagnosed with ADHD and autism because we are so good at masking our differences to try and fit in.

“I was taught by a comedy teacher that there are rules and formulas to writing jokes and whilst I was conforming to this structure, I was dying on stage. Head Set shows us that there is the way we present ourselves but then there is also what makes us spontaneously and uniquely funny. It’s about capitalising on our particular strangeness.”

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About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.