Ahead of the World Premiere and UK tour of our new production Witness, we’ve joined forces with young people’s mental health charity, 42nd Street, to raise awareness and understanding around mental health on World Mental Health Day, Monday 10 October.
To mark World Mental Health Day, we are working with 42nd Street to co-host a special event at The Lowry in Salford Quays. The event will provide creative and new perspectives on mental health, and go behind the scenes of Witness, which draws from our Co-Artistic Director, Kevin Edward Turner’s personal experience of Bipolar.
In addition, as part of the partnership, young people from 42nd Street, have helped Company Chameleon develop the Witness dance and movement workshop, which explores mental health. Young people who work with the mental health charity, took part in a trial class, providing feedback on the structure and content which will shape future workshops. The session took place ahead of Company Chameleon taking the workshop to schools across the country, alongside the tour of the main production.
“It was brilliant to see the young people tune into Kevin’s experiences and see their relationship develop as the workshop progressed.” said Simone Spray, Chief Executive of 42nd Street, “By the end there was a massive buzz in the room and it was as if everyone didn’t want to leave. Many of the young people hadn’t taken part in a dance class before, but the way Kevin led the activities and got everyone moving was very clever, no-one felt overwhelmed.”
Talking about the partnership and ahead of the event at The Lowry, Kevin said, “We’re delighted to partner with 42nd Street for this year’s World Mental Health Day. By going behind the scenes and exploring the themes within Witness, we hope the event will inspire new and creative perspectives on why mental health matters. Witness draws upon my own experience of Bipolar and the impact it has had on me and those closest to me. In making the work, I want to contribute towards the debate and understanding around mental health, and challenge preconceived notions of what is still in some ways, a taboo subject.”
Simone added, “The way Kevin has used his artform to tell his own personal story is incredibly inspiring, and shows how the arts have the power to shape perceptions and communicate lived experience of mental health difficulties and recovery. We hope the event sparks discussion about the role of the arts both as a way of raising awareness of mental health issues and also as a powerful tool for recovery and maintaining mental wellbeing.”
Along with a special preview and behind the scenes look at Witness, there will also be a Q&A session in which Kevin and Simone will take questions from the audience and drive discussion.
The event takes place ahead of the world premiere and UK tour of Witness, which begins on Weds 19 Oct at The House, Plymouth University and culminates at The Lowry, Salford Quays on Tues 29 & Weds 30 Nov.
For 42nd Street, the event happens ahead of the opening, in December, of its new initiative; The Horsfall. Situated in Ancoats, Manchester, this new arts space will deliver a programme aimed primarily at 13-25 year olds and dedicated to exploring creative new approaches to improving young people’s mental health and well-being and raising awareness of the issues that they face. The Horsfall will expand 42nd Street’s existing offer to the increasing numbers of young people that are seeking the organisation’s help.
If you’re interested in joining Company Chameleon and 42nd Street for the event on World Mental Health Day (Mon 10 Oct), please contact Becky Atkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and book a place.
World Mental Health Day, #WMHD16, is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy, and aims to ‘get the nation talking about mental health’.
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Wow, what a brilliant Autumn UK Tour of 10! We’ve enjoyed every minute and can’t believe it’s over!
It’s been amazing to receive such wonderful comments, thank you to everyone for their feedback.