Norwich’s Theatre Royal has partnered with Norfolk County Council’s public health team to create this new Creative Matters season which is starting in January 2018. Norwich Theatre Royal’s regular series will aim to stimulate discussion and creativity on different issues within a safe space.
During the season there will be an intimate evening exploring the anxiety issues of a well-known Norfolk comedian, the moving story of a battle with depression, the creation of a short work exploring the issues around men’s mental health issues, and a series of short films telling real-life stories of the impact of mental illness will form apart of a programme of work which brings men’s wellbeing into sharp focus.
Why Men’s Mental Health? Why Not?
Men’s mental wellbeing was selected as statistics show middle-aged men in Norfolk are very unlikely to seek help and support for their wellbeing and suicide rates are above the national average, particularly amongst men aged 30 to 64.
“Statistics show that men living and working here are some of the least likely to seek help and we hope this season will help show there are people out there to help and reduce the stigma around the whole issue through the power of creativity and discussion” says Stephen Crocker – chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal.
Meet Karl Minns
The audience will get a chance to hear how a prominent member of the region’s entertainment community battled his own demons with Meet Karl Minns on January 26th 2018 when one-half of the popular Nimmo Twins hosts an intimate evening. The performer and comedy-writer for the likes of Have I Got News For You and Unspun will share his experiences of battling anxiety in conversation with theatre’s chief executive Stephen Crocker. His first performance at 7:30pm has sold out but he has had added a second at 5:30pm and tickets have just gone on sale today (30th November).
Karl Minns Podcast
If I Had A Black Dog
The comedic but sensitive story of one man’s battle with depression is brought to the stage in If Had A Black Dog on January 18th. Based on Matthew Johnston’s international bestseller, it tells the story of Joe who falls in love but finds there is always a third presence in his life which is the black dog of the title which represents his depression. Presented by the East Anglian-based Small Nose Productions which specialise in creating works that supports people while making them think it aims to challenge people’s views of inclusion and exclusion.
The Power Of Performance
There is also the chance for men from the region to put together their own play looking at men’s mental health issues. The Power Of Performance will begin on January 12th which will see expert speakers and drama practitioners look at the relationship between masculinity and mental health. This will then lead to the creation of a special performance of work created by and featuring local men who wish to take part in it on January 25th.
Theatre Crafts and Tales
And families can also explore their emotions in Theatre Crafts and Tales on January 13 where theatre crafts and storytelling take centre stage. All ages will also be able to create something they can take away with them.
Two films will also form part of the season. On January 17th, there will be a screening of Ron Howard’s critically acclaimed movie A Beautiful Mind. It stars Russell Crowe as mathematical genius John Nash who finds his success at solving increasingly difficult equations is paralleled by health problems which culminate in a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Meanwhile Pixar’s family movie favourite Inside Out is shown on January 20th. It follows the story of Riley who has to move from the Midwest to San Francisco and her emotions conflict as she gets to grips with a new city, house and school in a funny, exciting and poignant movie which helps us understand our feelings.
This amazing Creative Matters season is jam-packed with thought provoking performances that aim to reduce the stigma around mental health. This overview has mentioned just a handful of them. To find out more about what’s on during this season, click here.