Lauren Silver, 27 January 2013

I want to make work based on Mental Health using Clowning, Music and Comedy. I

also wondered what are the boundaries?

Bit of background: I was asked to perform at a Mental Health Charity's fundraiser after

they saw me sing a comedy song about Mental Health. It opened up my idea to make

more of a full show either on my own or with others. I am incredibly interested in this

subject based on my own experiences and wanted to open it out for a D&D session to

see what others thought.

Here are some of the key notes that were brought up. I tried to write so quickly as

there was so much I thought relevant and interesting.

What exactly does the piece want to be about?: Personal experiences as a piece of

autobiographical theatre? Or based as a story with fictional characters affected by

mental health with a narrative?

Can we make comedy out of the subject?

Thinking about the audience: who would it pull in out of curiosity and who would it

push out due to feeling alienated on the subject.

Would prefer to bring the subject to the audience softly instead of thrust it upon them.

What would be the right language?

Also, how deep into the ‘issues’ of mental health would want to go? General anxiety,

worries and panic attacks aren't specifically seen as being Mentally Ill. So could it

mean that EVERYONE has a mental illness?!

The importance of not just audience support but actor support.

Who are we making it FOR/WITH/ABOUT?

How other cultures are affected: in a village, the crazy man was always the wise one.

The recognition of mental illness whatever its form using humour: ‘'I feel like ’this' and I

know it's silly.''

Using comedy to hide things - but this would be to open it up.

Using clowning specifically because it's about being Vulnerable.

To have sincerity is the most important thing.

Clowns are always dealing with something bigger: These things are bigger than us.

Some Points of Reference:

Mish Weaver

Bobby Baker

Peta Lily

Caroline Horton: Mess

Wonderful World of Dissocia

Do let me know of any thoughts or other points of reference. This is an ongoing project

for me I am an open book to help, ideas and offers.

Thank you!



anxiety, experience, comedy, Music, Experience, health, Health, musical comedy,

panic, stigma, music, clowning, personal, mental, collabaration, autobiographical