We have been working over the last 8 weeks as a new theatre company in the department of drama at The University of Huddersfield.  We are a company with 7 members, which have formed solely for this one of production themed around the personal and societal views of ‘Mental Health’ and working with peoples own experience of ‘emotional crises’.

We have been busy more recently discovering ourselves as a company; as you can imagine 7 artists from 7 different backgrounds is a challenge to jell.  However the progress of the company is developing rapidly and we are heading to the Christmas period with several developing scenes covering elements of physical theatre, comedy and gritty drama.  We are keen to use the general public’s views and experiences of ‘Mental Health’ as our stimulus to build a truthful account of the issues we are all personally dealing with, first hand or within the family and friends circle.

We are all working with themes as follows; panic attacks, paranoia, OCD, anxiety, depression, Bipolar, postnatal depression and addiction.  I know what you’re thinking; this is going to be a heavy production, but don’t worry, we are confident with the skills in the company will we deliver a highly entertaining show; while being sensitive to the subject.

We are privileged to be working with two fantastic theatre practitioners as ‘Refractions’ mentors.  We have Richard Sobey from I.O.U Productions, and Jemma Mc Donnell the artistic director of ‘Paper Birds’ Theatre Company.   These two highly successful companies are providing guidance and artistic development, and are sure to give the company a massive lift into the industry.

Below is a short slide show from rehearsals and devising sessions that we put together to give a flavour of our work.  We are keen to get more material on this blog and online platforms more often, going into the New Year.

We are looking  to work in partnership with key organisations  that work in the sector of ‘Mental Health’ ; and have been making contact with AIM (Artists In Mind) , Full Circle Arts and MIND.  Working and creating these partnerships, will provide a hands on source to keeping our work relevant and real.

On the next update, before the Christmas break, I will introduce you to the company, and tell you a little about our backgrounds and the progress on making the show.

Thanks for reading, please follow @refractionDrama on twitter for updates.

Paul Adams @performeradams – Twitter