Baby Reindeer Richard Gadd breakdown

Everyone’s wondering if Baby Reindeer’s on stage breakdown was real, so here’s what happened

Donny opened up about the sexual assault he had experienced whilst performing stand up

Things reach a peak in Richard Gadd’s marvel of a TV show Baby Reindeer on Netflix in episode six when he has a breakdown on stage. Donny comes straight from the pub where he’s just had a run in with Martha which sees him have a glass smashed over his head by his persistent stalker. Bleeding from the head and shaken up, he still decides to take to the stage and perform his set for a stand up comedy competition.

Reeling from the violent incident that had just taken place, Donny soon derails his own show and descends into a breakdown, pouring out to the audience the details of the stalking and sexual abuse he has endured. Despite leaving the audience stunned, we see in the next episode how the breakdown actually catapulted his career landing him opportunities and interviews.

Knowing that the show is based on a sequence of true events, everyone is wondering whether Richard Gadd actually had an onstage breakdown like his character Donny in Baby Reindeer. This scene is not actually true to real life and the breakdown didn’t happen exactly as we saw it play out on screen. Richard Gadd did open about his abuse and stalking on stage but it was part of his theatre show Monkey See Monkey Do and was pre-written rather than happening spontaneously as a breakdown like we see in Baby Reindeer.

via Netflix

Richard wrote Monkey See Monkey do in 2016 for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before it had an eight week run in Soho and eventually was broadcast on Comedy Central. In the show, Richard is persistently pested by a large monkey, representing the burden of his rape. We see portrayals of hyper-masculinity ridiculed by Richard taking part in the fictitious Man’s Man Contest before it all comes crashing down as he lays the revelations of his rape out for the audience creating an uncomfortable and poignant atmosphere in the theatre.

However, Monkey See Monkey Do wasn’t the first time that Richard Gadd had been vulnerable on stage. In footage available online of Richard performing Diary of an Open Spot at the Five Minute Theatre, he explores the struggles of what it means to be a stand up comedian. Whilst he does touch of some personal topics, he does not delve into the depths of what is handled in the Edinburgh Fringe show.

Fans of the show have theorised that the breakdown we see take place in Baby Reindeer was an amalgamation of the vulnerability Richard Gadd wasn’t afraid to show in his stand up performances and his Monkey See Monkey Do production. Currently, Monkey See Monkey do is not available anywhere online.

Baby Reindeer is available on Netflix now. For more like this and all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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Featured image via Netflix.