Help Forthright take their exciting new play about men’s mental health to the Brighton Fringe and then also perform it in Worcestershire!
About the show
The Gary & Robert Blues’ is a funny, angry and poignant story of one man using his creation of a new stand-up comedy act to find a path through his confused and damaged mind; and reconnect with the world. Trying to understand his own muddled thinking he looks at the irrational way in which society reacts to mental health issues. Inter cut with a blues music soundtrack, this powerful show is a mix of theatre and stand-up. This is the first in a trilogy of plays that we are planning which will tackle different aspects of mental health.
The play was developed with the support of an Arts Council G4A grant and funding from Redditch & Bromsgrove Councils plus a donation from a local charity Redditch Mental Health Action Group ( MHAG). Comments from our preview performances during the play’s development:
“Educational, emotional and very human……….Thought-provoking, myth-busting and highly recommended viewing. Laura Hughes Ember Counselling
“pertinent and informative” Paul Milton, Creative Director Everyman Theatre. Gloucester
“ A powerfully written and wonderfully performed piece of theatre that communicates many of the realities of living with depression. James Lang – audience member
“This is supremely well written play, brilliantly acted, which works on two levels. It is a great piece of theatre – riveting but also very humorous. Tony Craig – audience member
Forthright are the producing arm of Jestaminute Community Theatre cic , a social enterprise ( a not-for-profit company ) whose objects are :
“to use performance and media arts to enhance the life and well being, and to enhance social cohesion”
and this is realized through a variety of activities which can broadly be described in two strands:
- As a community theatre organization our work largely focuses on intergenerational oral history projects. For example, our current one is exploring Redditch during the period when it became a ‘new town’ and is funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. We are working with volunteer interviewers and some local schools to record, preserve and share stories of life in Redditch between 1960 & 1984. As well as facilitated artistic output from each school , a new radio play will be created and recorded as the celebratory artistic sharing from this work .
In addition we run a variety of workshops using performing arts as an intervention to achieve health & wellbeing outcomes
- Under the brand of ‘Forthright’ the company creates new pieces of theatre dealing with significant health and social issues and to date have covered issues such as:
- Men’s health awareness
- Domestic Abuse
This is what some people said about our play ‘An Angelbroad..’ which tackled domestic abuse :
“A well written, cleverly devised and brilliantly acted piece from a writer and company who have really connected with their material.”
“compelling insights into an issue which is rarely discusssed and poorly understood. Riveting drama.”
“shows the reality of domestic abuse through several characters within three stories.”
“The play’s central narrative of control and abuse is executed with honestly, sensitively and a clear understanding of the breath of human behaviour.”
Why this project…
Forthright are passionate about making issue based theatre. This play is the first in what will become a trilogy of plays each looking at different aspects of mental health, conected by themes of blues music and the ways in which we comunicate as human beings .
Mental health is the Cinderella of the health service, yet in any 12 month period – 1 in 4 of us will experience poor mental in one form or another. Men in particular find it hard to acknowldge they have a problem and seek help. Our work explores this issue with honesty and integrity , it gets people talking, it raises awareness…..
… And why we need your help
We’ve been incredibly lucky to be funded for previous projects – unfortunately, times are tight. We believe that artists shouldn’t be asked to work for free – so we’ve guaranteed a fee for our creative team. We also need funding for 5 nights acomodation in Brighton and some publicity. We already have pledges of money from Worcestershire Arts Partnership and support with rehearsal space from Redditch Borough Council. There is also a possibility of some more funding from a local trust dependant on us being able to raise the rest of the money. So we are doing some careful budgeting and of course, asking for a little bit of help….. The people who came to see our preview shows almost unanimously said this piece needs / deserves a wider audience … you can help make that happen! Any donations you can spare will be greatly valued. We’d also love you to come and see the show!
With your help we will be on at Brighton Fringe at The Warren Studio 2 from 2nd until 5th June 4.45pm and then at The Room Upstairs, Palace Theatre Redditch 9th June 7.45 pm and Worcester Arts Workshop 10th June 7.30 pm.
We have an exciting selection of rewards, including some offered by associates of the company
For example pantomime tickets from the Little English Theatre Company run by our fantastic actor Stephan Bessant :
or celebratory song sung for you by our delightful ssociate Jo: