Over the past few months I have been lucky enough to be involved in a project that combines my three passions: the arts, science, and mental health. Working with award winning playwright Karis E. Halsall of Luminary Theatre and creatives from HOAX, we carried out an intensive process of research and development, involving psychologists, researchers, creatives and those with lived experience of mental health difficulties.

Through an innovative and exciting series of workshops, we developed a “preview” version of original play “Hysterical” written by Karis E. Halsall, produced in collaboration with HOAX and directed by Stephen Sobal of All In Theatre. Across two weeks of intensive workshops, a first draft script was refined to ensure it was grounded in the multifaceted, lived experience of mental health problems as well as the latest in research and clinical knowledge, gleaned from academics from University College London and NHS mental health workers. You can read more about the development of this innovative piece of theatre on Karis’ blog, and on the UCL website.

“Hysterical” previewed at The Vault Festival in February 2016 where it was a resounding success, with a full run of sold out performances, being selected for the festival’s “People’s Choice” award.

But the fun didn’t stop there! The creative team went straight back to the rehearsal room, and are now ready to go with a final version, showing on 14th and 15th May at 4pm in The Warren at Brighton Fringe and on 18th-20th May in London. The London performances will be part of  the ‘Stories of Being‘ Health and Wellbeing festival, held by Platform Southwark.  They will be surrounded by other similarly themed creative and intellectual delights, including “Idiothinkcracies“, a free, open access conversation facilitated by myself & Karis on the interaction between mental health difficulties and art (and if you’re lucky we might give you a sneak peek into the creative process that went into developing “Hysterical”).

Get your tickets now for Brighton and London. It’s sure to be a popular show!