Unity Theatre Announces A Host Of Events In Association With Liverpool Mental Health Festival.

Unity Theatre is delighted to announce State of Mind – a series of events which will take place from 10th – 14th October 2017 as part of Liverpool Mental Health Festival. The Festival itself runs from 1st – 14th October and is co-ordinated by Liverpool Mental Health Consortium. It coincides with World Mental Health Day on 10th October.

State of Mind aims to explore the role the arts have in supporting people’s Mental Health & Wellbeing and actively and positively change people’s perceptions about Mental Illness. The events in the festival will take place across the whole of the newly redeveloped Unity Theatre.

The week has been inspired by Unity Youth Theatre’s own work on mental health Umbrelephant which coupled with the recent statistic that 18,000 children and young people have a mental health condition provides a vital and urgent context for the week.

Chris Bliss, chair of Unity Theatre and Estate Director Liverpool ONE said, “Mental Health issues are statistically higher in the North West and in young people in particular. It can be easier to see a physical illness but the effects of mental illness can be harder to understand. The U.K. boasts a huge number of artists making quality work and interventions in and around Mental Health, including our own Youth Theatre. Unity Theatre takes pride in being the place where issues that wouldn’t usually be spoken about, happen on stage. State of Mind is a new series of events that we are bringing to Liverpool and the festival adds to our already extensive range of extraordinary performance which we’re delighted to bring to Unity Theatre year upon year.”

Headlining the mini-festival is Sofie Hagen who today is announced as the new patron of Liverpool Mental Health Festival, and her gig on Mental Health Day itself will celebrate her new role.

Claire Stevens, Development Manager of Liverpool Mental Health Consortium said, “We’re thrilled to be working with Unity Theatre to keep mental health, and mental distress, on the public radar. The State of Mind programme couldn’t be more timely, as local mental health services face further cuts and service users bear the brunt of welfare reforms which increase their levels of stress and anxiety. State of Mind provides an excellent opportunity to bring people together, challenge assumptions, find inspiration and feel less isolated. We’re also honoured that the wonderful Sofie Hagen has agreed to be Liverpool Mental Health Festival Patron. We’re big fans of the honesty, creativity, passion and humour which she brings to her work and to the public debate about mental health and how to be human.”

Sofie Hagen added, “I’m really excited to be joining the Liverpool Mental Health Festival as their new patron, and to be the opening gig of this exciting and vibrant programme at Unity.  For me personally comedy has been a way through my own depression, self anxiety and self harming so I have first -hand experience of knowing the key role the arts play in looking after our Mental Health.”

Sofie is unquestionably one of the most talked-about comics of the moment. She won the Best Newcomer Award at Edinburgh 2015 and her 2016 follow-up, Shimmer Shatter was a second total sell-out.

A modern legend in her native Denmark, she’s spoken to millions as former host of Guilty Feminist and current host of Made of Human podcasts, and appeared on The One Show, The Now Show and Live From The B.B.C.

This, her biggest national tour to date, is a brand new show packed with brilliant, offbeat observation, passionate argument, and jokes… also, one parable.

Tickets for State of Mind will be available via Unity Theatre’s website and by calling the Box office on 0151 709 4988. Sofie Hagen’s show is on Tuesday 10th October.

On Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th October Brigitte Aphrodite’s My Beautiful Black Dog will be performed at the Unity Theatre.

My Beautiful Black Dog is a poetically wild musical exploring the difficult and beauteous complexity of our fragile minds.  Depression is at its heart, but it’s not depressing – its joyous, funny and hopeful (I hope)…I believe in hope.

The electrifying show challenges the urgent stigma around mental health and encourages the audience to take ownership of their own black dogs whilst channelling infectious dance moves, swagger boss costumes and banging tunes.

On Thursday 12th October at 6pm and 9.30pm, Cheryl Martin’s Alaska will be directed by Darren Pritchard.

‘What it feels like, when the breakdowns start, is that it’s as if I’m frozen as a snow man, then suddenly all these totally out of control emotions break through.’  Alaska is a funny, magical trip to the moon, with singing and dancing thrown in: one woman’s extraordinary story of how she survived growing up with severe depression.

A raw and powerful performance, with humour, heart and soul, in the intimate setting of a city centre flat.

Live Before You Die by Byron Vincent and Dave McGinn comes to the Unity on Friday 13th October.

What do you do when you have a best mate who is so sad he might die? Especially considering up until now your friendship has mostly consisted of a mutual appreciation of 90s hip hop, borderline alcoholism and finding creative ways to call each other d**khead.

Byron is a bipolar performance artist, Dave only communicates in insults. Together they must find a way to fix Byron’s broken soul before it’s too late. Funny, tragic and shockingly honest, this is a true story of hopelessness and friendship told by two men on a desperate quest for happiness.

Finally on Saturday 14th October at 2pm and 4pm the Unity Youth Theatre bring Umbrelephant to the festival stage. Directed by Carl Cockram and Laura Campbell. The award winning Unity Youth Theatre will be looking at the issues of Mental Health and young people’s health and well being.

Tickets for the shows are on sale from the 13th May.