A theatrical approach to mental health

A theatrical approach to mental health

Comic actor Ruby Way and musician Judith Owen hope to reach out to people with mental health issues with their theatre show ‘Losing It’. 

They will be performing their two-woman show at the Menier Chocolate Factory which has been a successful theatre since 2004.  This month it will be transformed for a different purpose – it will become a part-time mental health drop in centre.

The show is about mental health and was written and is performed b Ruby Wax and Judith Owen.  It debuted at the venue earlier in the year following a successful tour around the country in theatres and mental health facilities.

The Chocolate Factory is holding drop-in sessions in conjunction with the charity Sane for people seeking help and support with mental health issues.

In an piece in The Guardian newspaper, Owen said ‘We are very excited – we wanted to be able to get psychiatrists and nurses and whoever it might be, so that people know where to phone, where to go online, where to get help  It’s about talking to people who understand.’

People who feel they have mental (health) issues and their carers have nowhere to go to find help.’ adds Wax.  ‘We’re opening this forum so that people can meet fellow sufferers, get information on where they can go and what they can do.’

There will be a guest speaker from the field followed by a question and answer panel with Ruby Wax, Judith Owen and Marjorie Wallace, the founder and chief executive of Sane and  admission is free.  There will also be charity staff on hand to discuss the services of Sane and to guide people towards potential resources around the country.

Marjorie Wallace welcomes this opportunity and says ‘Staging this series of forums is a truly innovative idea that will allow everybody who is affected by or interested in mental health to take part in informative, frank and relaxed discussion.  This will be a chance for people to come together to learn more about therapies and treatments and it is so important for professionals, carers and those who have been or who are affected by mental ill-health to share and talk openly about their experiences.’

The show itself is quite different. ‘It’s a different theatrical experience,’ says Owen.  ‘We knew it would be a hard one to get across.  It should leave you thinking about things.’

The ‘Losing It’ sessions will be held on 19th and 26th May and 2nd, 9th and 16th June, 2pm – 4pm at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London.


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