Musical backed by NHS and mental health charities returns to city

A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad), Silent Uproar theatre company

An award-winning comedy musical that throws glitter at depression backed by NHS and mental health charities Mind and Mental Health Foundation is going on tour in the New Year.

Hull-based Silent Uproar is taking A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) back on the road after wowing crowds and critics alike at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe. The tour includes a 29-day stint in London and will also be visiting Brighton Festival as well as Hull.

The show, which was shortlisted for the Mental Health Foundation’s first ever Mental Health Fringe Award at Edinburgh Fringe last year, is influenced by the company’s personal experiences and has been informed by people living with mental health problems and medical professionals.

The team spent a year researching for the show, interviewing 50 people living with depression, speaking to psychiatrists, the NHS, mental health nurses, Mind charity and psychologists. The cast and crew have also had mental health awareness training from Hull and East Yorkshire Mind, organised by NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group.

In addition to the cast and crew being able to talk to people affected by any of the issues in the show, the company is also arranging for mental healthcare volunteers to be on hand after performances to signpost them to help available.

Written by Olivier award winner Jon Brittain (Rotterdam, Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho) with music by Matthew Floyd Jones (Frisky and Mannish), the show is a joyful, buoyant, gleeful, slightly silly, sugar coated, unrelenting and completely super happy show. Except for all the bits about depression.

A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad), Silent Uproar theatre company

Alex Mitchell, Artistic Director of Silent Uproar, said: “We wanted to create something that challenged the notion that depression is just being a bit sad. We wanted to create a fun show for people who are living with it, but also for their mate that doesn’t really believe that depression is a thing.”

Dan Roper, Chair of NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, yet too often people are afraid to talk about their experiences because they fear it will affect their jobs or relationships. The arts can be an incredibly powerful way to understand what mental illness is, how it can affect people and, most importantly, that it can affect anyone. Simply talking about mental illness can help break down stereotypes and take the taboo out of something that can affect all of us.”

Andrew Eaton-Lewis, arts lead for the Mental Health Foundation, added: “The arts are an incredibly powerful way to talk about mental health – to share experiences, tell stories, reduce stigma, and change minds. If you can turn a set of challenging and often distressing symptoms into a relatable human story, you can have a huge impact, personally, culturally and sometimes politically.”

Scarlett Scrivener from Hull and East Yorkshire Mind said: “One in four people have problems with their mental health every year, but too often people are afraid to talk about it. Having these all important conversations about mental health can make a big difference too many people. The more we talk, the more lives we can change.”

The comedic and production style of the show draws from sources as diverse as Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Pixar’s Inside Out, Juno, and musicals like Cabaret and Chicago. 

Silent Uproar is a Hull-based new writing company, commissioning writers to create playful and provocative work to help make the world a little less sh*t.

Co-produced by Hull UK City of Culture 2017, the tour has been made possible with the support of Arts Council England, house touring network, Hull City Council, New Diorama Theatre, Hull NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and Hull Truck Theatre.

Tickets for the show, which won the Fringe First Award and Best Musical Award at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, will go on sale in the New Year.

For more information, go to www.silentuproarproductions.co.uk. 

[Alix Johnson – The Comms Collective]

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