Mental well-being inspires new work

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Beach Hut Theatre is challenging public perceptions of mental health its their new project Breaking the Ice.

This spring, seven new plays examine the everyday problems of people living with depression, anxiety and other emotional difficulties.

SnOwQuEeN, a new urban fantasy musical, will reunite last year’s Summer’s Edge cast and crew in a reinterpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen at the Old Parcels Office, Scarborough.

Kaiden is a young man from Leeds who is on the run. But he can’t run from himself and now, in Scarborough, he’s literally at the end of the line when he meets some quirky characters.

Co-written by John Pattison and Alison Watt and designed by Michael Roberts, it considers the social isolation caused by depression in young adults.

SuDdEn ThAwS, six short plays by local writers, can be seen for free in Scarborough Library’s main lending area on Saturday April 22.

Under the direction and dramaturge of Alison Watt the six mood-boosting stories touch upon social phobias, insomnia, self-harming in young people, eating disorders, dementia and general anxiety disorder in a moving or comic approach. Designed by artist Helen Birmingham, the six plays will run repeatedly throughout the day and the audience can drop-in and watch between 10am and 2pm.

Alison Watt said: This project seeks to break the ice and get conversations started around the common mental health conditions that can have an impact on us all. In ‘SuDdEn ThAwS’ we have a wonderful mix of stories which have been carefully researched by a group of talented, local writers.”

Breaking the Ice is a partnership between Beach Hut Theatre Company and Scarborough Library, co-funded by Arts Council England and Stronger Communities and draws onthe Reading Agency’s Reading Well scheme on common mental health conditions.

The project has been conceived and produced by writer/director Alison Watt and composer John Pattison who are both artistic drectors at Beach Hut Theatre Company.

SnOwQuEeN runs at Woodend, The Crescent, from Wednesday March 29 until Saturday 1 April with 7pm daily showings and a 1.30pm matinee on the Saturday. Tickets cost £8, with a £6 concession. They can be bought from Woodend or by ringing 01723 384500. Tickets on the door. As part of this site-specific theatre performance, the audience are invited to wear winter clothes and bring a blanket and become part of the experience.