It has the whole range of human emotions in it...it's like the acting Olympics for an actor, you make people laugh, cry and think about their own lives," says Perth actor Luke Hewitt of his role in Every Brilliant Thing.
Mr Hewitt is a well-established name in Australian television and theatre, with an impressive CV behind him, including popular children's TV show Parallax and Small Town Hackers.
His latest venture, he says, is unlike any role he has played before.
"I've always done performance - I was the class clown, and in grade seven I got my first theatre role in the school production as the drunken sailor in 'what do you do with a drunken sailor' - people clapped and that's it, I was hooked."
Mr Hewitt explained that he continued his theatrical ventures throughout high school, and scored his first professional acting gig the year after he graduated - before moving on to University studies.
"I went to Uni and didn't do anything about acting actually," he laughed.
"I did economics and environmental science and I guess I was always wishing I could be an actor.
"In about 1992, I got my first professional theatre show and that was it, I was away."
A one man show
When Mr Hewitt scored the role in Every Brilliant Thing, he said he was touched by the storyline, and the opportunity to reach audiences with serious and important messages about mental health with a touch of humour.
"I suppose first off I wouldn't describe it as a straight up comedy - you work every muscle as an actor," he said.
"Although it does deal with darker themes, it does have an overarching positive tone to it.
"The audience is involved in the show - it's a connection with the audience, a conversation - I'm telling them my life story. The house lights never go down, so it's a unique experience in that sense."
Mr Hewitt said that with the show having just one cast member, there is both a mixture of anxiety and thrill.
"It's a delicate thing for an actor to deal with these darker themes - that's a source of anxiety," he said.
"You don't want to let it get too morose or let people switch off - and you want to balance the darkness with the light.
"On the other hand on the other hand it's a gift to be the only performer you don't have to share the attention from the director or the audience," Mr Hewitt laughed.
He added that it was especially important to "get people talking" about the topic of mental health, particularly with lockdown and isolation.
You don't want to let it get too morose or let people switch off - and you want to balance the darkness with the light.Luke Hewitt
"Initially, in March 2020 when lockdowns happened, it was horrible - I lost all of my work... I lost all of my work overnight.
"It was daunting thinking about how I was going to pay the bills - I have mates who had to sell their cars to pay the bills.
"We're lucky to be in WA and be able to do what we do, I have friends in Sydney and it has been hard for them."
Back to his roots
Mr Hewitt said he looked forward to touring the show to Mandurah, which had been like a second home for him growing up.
"All of my school holidays were in Mandurah - my extended family had a holiday house in Blue Bay and every Christmas holidays we would catch crabs.
"I even had my first kiss at kings carnival - we go way back."
The MANPAC is another highlight for Mr Hewitt, who claims it as one of his favourite venues.
"I've done a few shows in Mandurah - it's a lovely theatre arts centre there too.
"I'm definitely no stranger to Mandurah."
Every Brilliant Thing will perform at MANPAC on August 17, and tickets can be purchased via the MANPAC website.