Alice: Day one was big chats about big things. We started talking about the show which opened up a pathway leading to everything that makes us us. What does it mean to be mental? Aren’t we all mental in some way? Is it our brains or our world that’s mental? What do feelings look like and how do we get them across? It’s ok to feel sad, but we seldom talk about these things, maybe the key is communication. What are intrusive thoughts? Everyone has them but is it only when we act on them that makes us mental – not the voice itself but our awareness to stop them, is it our awareness of the confines of our world that stops us? Connection with the universe, all linked, maybe some are more open to it than others. Celebrating how we feel more, celebrating our sorrow. This is what makes us human – better than being zombies.
Kane: Being able to work in a space where you can trust all the people in the room feels like a really rare thing. For me the premise of the show now being created all stems from an open dialogue where anything is valid. Mental Health, or rather mental challenges, I’m beginning to realise, are UNIVERSAL and everyone we know has some sort of affiliation with the idea of the mind and brain at times being disrupted. Exploring things outside of mine and my mum’s world generates a bigger picture we are all part of. It makes me question further this idea of the norm, normality. Being able to share thoughts, ideas, and creative nuggets in a room with people with such warmth can only enrich something I can’t wait to share.
Tom: It was a joy to be back in the room with people I hadn’t worked with for a long time, some for almost 5 years, maybe more. I’d been nervous about what I could bring to the project but it seems like any creative environment in which you get the right people is incredibly liberating. We made a hell of a lot of stuff that I genuinely think could just slot into the show. I felt completely at ease. The simple set up of the room, I think, helped. A mic. Some little keyboard things. A mixing desk and people. The dynamic between us felt unlike it has in the past too. Familiar but new. We felt like adults with skills and it’s rare that I feel like that. Valuable but without having to prove anything. I think it must be nice for Tid.
Farish: Good first day, old friends new ideas… that’s right. I find it interesting to learn about friends experiences with the issue “mental”. Anxiety, panic attacks and intrusive thoughts, turns out it’s not “mental”. The fact we all seem to have had these experiences yet never really openly spoke about it to anyone highlighted the importance of the show. Lots of great ideas flying about, songs, poems, and monologues, someone even floated on a table… Classic actors hidden in a small pub function room, decorated with naff christmas decorations, mental. I can’t stop saying mental, it’s mental…. the celebration of sorrow.
Tid: Kim has done something more special than she knows. Her experience has given us all permission to be open about our own “mental” issues. Kane’s story is the starting point, but it has quickly become about a much larger story too. This tension between the universal and particular is rich with meaning. Kane has done something very special by uniting us all again on such an important project.
Peter: When the right people are in the room things work.